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Forbes Reporter Under House Arrest in Russia for Allegedly Spreading False Information

Sergey Mingazov (Credits: Agenzia Nova)

A Russian court has placed Forbes journalist Sergey Mingazov under house arrest for allegedly spreading fake news about the Russian armed forces. He will be under house arrest for at least two months as he awaits trial.

Mingazov was detained on Friday and is accused of reposting a publication about the events in Bucha, Ukraine, on Telegram. His lawyer, Konstantin Bubon, said that Mingazov is accused of spreading “knowingly false information” about the Russian armed forces “under the guise” of reliable reporting.

Ukrainian forces liberated the city of Bucha in March 2022, and the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office has reported that the Russian army committed thousands of war crimes in the Bucha district, including the killing of hundreds of civilians. The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the mass killings and has claimed that the images of civilian bodies were fake.

Mingazov under house arrest (Credits: TVP World)

Mingazov’s house arrest was enforced as a “preventative measure,” and he has been banned from using the internet and imposed restrictions on his communications with people other than relatives, investigators, lawyers, and medical professionals.

This is not an isolated incident, as Russia has been cracking down on journalists since it invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Several prominent journalists have been arrested, including Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty editor Alsu Kurmasheva and Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich. Courts have also ordered the arrests in absentia of several journalists for criticizing the state.

Forbes’ Mingazov placed under house arrest (Credits: The Moscow Times)

In a separate incident, a local Russian court press service reported that Konstantin Gabov, a Russian journalist who worked as a producer for the Reuters news agency, was detained and accused of “extremism.”

Gabov allegedly helped to produce content for a YouTube channel associated with late opposition leader Alexey Navalny and will remain in detention for at least two months.

Russian authorities have designated Navalny and his organizations as “extremist,” meaning anyone associating with his group faces a legal risk. These incidents highlight the growing pressure on journalists in Russia and the government’s efforts to control the narrative around its actions in Ukraine.

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