Former RFE/RL Freelance Journalist Summoned For Questioning In Kaliningrad

KALININGRAD, Russia -- A freelance journalist who formerly worked with RFE/RL's North.Realities in the city of Kaliningrad has been summoned to the prosecutor's office over her online articles.

Yulia Paramonova told RFE/RL that officers questioned her on March 21 in relation to an extremism case, although she says they did not clarify any details of the case.

"They asked me how long I worked [for North.Realities], what materials I published, stressing the political issues my materials covered. I told them that I mainly covered news and wrote longer items that derived from the news, which were of a social, economic, and political nature," Paramonova said, adding that the officers declined to explained exactly why she was being questioned.

Paramonova informed the officers that she had stopped working as a freelance correspondent for North.Realities as of March 1.

She was also asked about salaries and honorariums of journalists working for RFE/RL, a question she refused to answer, citing the country's constitution.

The officers mentioned that she worked for a media outlet that had been officially added to the so-called "foreign agents" list, Paramonova said.

"I think that they are working on a list of 'national traitors,' enemies of the people. My lawyer and I must be on that list," Paramonova said.

Several media outlets reported on March 21 that a former correspondent at another RFE/RL online project, Siberia.Realities, was detained on unknown charges. Andrei Novashov was detained after his home was searched in the Siberian city of Kemerovo.

The clampdown on media and journalists has intensified across Russia after Kremlin unleashed war in Ukraine on February 24.