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Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko says Ukrainian Security Service opened criminal case against him; agency denies claim
Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko said Tuesday that the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has opened a criminal case against him.
Writing on Telegram, Babchenko said that the Ukrainian authorities have issued an all-points bulletin requiring border agents to arrest him and deliver him to a detention center for pre-trial proceedings if he enters the country.
The journalist said he does not know what offense he’s accused of committing, but wrote that the “only” possible explanation is that he’s being targeted for criticizing “Bubochka,” which, according to the Telegram channel Politika Strany, likely refers to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Babchenko also noted that he hasn’t been in Ukraine for four years and that, because he’s a Russian citizen, it would be illegal for him to enter the country without a visa.
Later on Tuesday, an SBU representative denied that the agency has opened a case against Babchenko and said his statement “does not correspond to reality.”
Arkady Babchenko worked as a war correspondent and lived in Russia until 2017, when he moved to Kyiv. The Russian authorities have issued an arrest warrant against him, declared him a “foreign agent,” and added him to their list of “terrorists and extremists.” In November 2019, shortly after Volodymyr Zelensky’s victory in Ukraine’s 2019 presidential election, Babchenko moved to Israel. He currently lives in Estonia.
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