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Alexander Ionov reports iStories to the Russian authorities over alleged foreign funding

Source: MBX Media

Alexander Ionov, the founder of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia, has filed a complaint against the investigative journalism outlet iStories with the Russian Attorney General’s Office. Ionov told MBX Media that he reported iStories to the Russian authorities because the outlet has allegedly been the recipient of foreign funds.

“Today we sent a complaint to the Attorney General’s Office. And before that, we sent [complaints] to the Justice Ministry and Roskomnadzor [the federal censorship agency]. First off, we pointed out foreign funding, because the journalists personally and as a legal entity received direct foreign funding from those structures that are directly aimed at [carrying out] certain tasks from the West.”

Ionov also asked the Russian authorities to blacklist iStories editor-in-chief Roman Anin as a “foreign agent.”

According to MBX Media, Ionov claims that iStories is linked to the senior vice president of the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, Anders Alexanderson, who, together with Roman Anin, is allegedly listed as the beneficiary of the company iStories Fonds, which is registered in Latvia.

In April 2021, Meduza was declared a “foreign agent” after Alexander Ionov filed a complaint against our news outlet with Russia’s censorship agency, Roskomnadzor. Ionov also played a role in initiating an appeal that led the Russian authorities to blacklist the American university Bard College as an “undesirable organization.”

Update. Later in the day on Thursday, iStories editor-in-chief Roman Anin responded to statements Alexander Ionov made in a video posted Instagram. “Anders Alexanderson never paid me anything,” Anin said. “Alexander Ionov will have to answer for these words in a Russian court.” He also added that neither he nor the iStories editorial office are afraid of being declared “foreign agents.” “My grandfather served around 15 years Soviet camps as an ‘enemy of the people’ for refusing to sign a collective denunciation against an innocent person. I’m proud that my grandfather was an ‘enemy of the people.’ I’m sure he would be proud that I and the media outlet that I lead are about to become ‘foreign agents’,” Anin said.

Also in April, the Russian FSB raided the iStories newsroom and Roman Anin’s apartment in connection with a criminal case for violation of privacy. The case was launched back in 2016 over an article Anin wrote for Novaya Gazeta about a $100 million yacht belonging to Olga Rozhkova — the then-wife of Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin. Anin is currently a witness in the case.

On July 15, the Moscow Arbitration Court ordered iStories to delete an investigative report, which claimed that Rosneft bought a stake in the Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli in 2014.

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