Russian security agents have searched the home of one of the country’s most prominent investigative journalists and brought him in for interrogation, in what his lawyer and editorial team said was related to coverage of one of Russia’s most powerful men.
After FSB security agents searched his Moscow apartment on April 9, Istories editor-in-chief Roman Anin was taken to the Investigative Committee in connection with enquiries into “violation of privacy by abusing his professional functions,” his lawyer Anna Stavitskaya said.
Istories reported on its Telegram channel that the last thing they heard from Anin was that the search may be related to a previous case opened in 2016, after Anin published a report in Novaya Gazeta newspaper suggesting state-owned oil giant Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin had links to a yacht valued at $100 million.
Anin had previously worked for Novaya Gazeta, the most prominent opposition newspaper. The newspaper was found guilty of defamation after Sechin filed a complaint about the report.
In a statement, Novaya Gazeta’s editorial board said the case was reopened in March after Rosneft filed a claim against Istories.
“Everything that is happening now with Roman Anin is revenge,” the editorial board said. “We will by all legal means and publicly protect our friend and colleague.”
The move against Anin comes just weeks after he published an investigative piece suggesting the new deputy head of the FSB, Sergei Korolev, has ties with the leaders of several Russian organized criminal groups.
Created last year, Istories specializes in investigative reports, including recent articles on FSB officers surveilling imprisoned opposition leader Alexsei Navalny and an exposé into the wealth of former son-in-law of President Vladimir Putin, Kirill Shamalov.