Federal agents raided the Moscow apartment of journalist Pavel Nikulin on Wednesday. He says the search is related to his article “From Kaluga With Jihad,” published in The New Times in March 2017. The raid was apparently conducted as part of an investigation into “illegal terrorist training,”where Nikulin has been named as a witness. Officials reportedly seized the journalist’s computer equipment and one of his T-shirts.
In June 2017, a Moscow court issued a 100,000-ruble ($1,780) fine to The New Times for publishing Nikulin’s article, ruling that the text “publicly justifies terrorism.” For the story, Nikulin interviewed a man from Russia’s Kaluga region who had been in Syria fighting alongside insurgents.
Nikulin originally planned to publish his story in the Russian edition of Esquire, but editors rejected the article. Federal Security Service agents reportedly visited Esquire’s newsroom afterwards to ask about Nikulin’s activities, though Esquire chief editor Sergey Minaev says these rumors are “nonsense.”