Russia's Tatarstan Adds RFE/RL Correspondent To Wanted List

By RFE/RL's Idel.Realities

A court in Kazan, the capital of Russia's Tatarstan region, has added a correspondent from RFE/RL's Idel.Realities online project to the wanted list and issued a warrant for his arrest, accusing him of publicly calling for terrorist activities via the Internet.

The Soviet district court said on November 22 that it ruled four days earlier to arrest Andrei Grigoryev, whose current whereabouts is unknown. According to the court's decision, Grigoryev must be sent to pretrial detention for two months from the moment he is detained or right after being extradited from a foreign country.

The charge against Grigoryev stems from a video that circulated on the Internet earlier in May showing an attack against a Russian ambassador in Poland.

In August, police in Kazan searched the homes of Grigoryev and several other current and former correspondents of RFE/RL's Idel.Realities and Tatar-Bashkir Service, saying that they were suspected of having been involved in the video's distribution online.

All of the journalists said they had nothing to do with the video that showed Ambassador Sergei Andreyev being doused with red paint by Polish activists as he attempted to lay flowers at a Soviet military memorial cemetery in Warsaw for Red Army soldiers who died during World War II.

Video of the attack on May 9 showed red paint being thrown from behind Andreyev before another activist standing beside him throws some on his face as they protested Russia's ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

Since December last year, Russia's Justice Ministry has added Grigoryev and five other correspondents of RFE/RL's Idel.Realities and Tatar-Bashkir Service, Alina Grigoryeva, Regina Khisamova, Katerina Mayakovskaya, Yekaterina Lushnikova, Artur Astafyev, as well as former contributor Regina Gimalova, to the registry of "foreign agents" -- a move used by the government to designate what it says are foreign-funded organizations that are engaged in political activity, as well as people linked to them.

Idel.Realities is a Russian-language regional news outlet of RFE/RL's Tatar-Bashkir Service.