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French citizen arrested in Russia pleads guilty to felony charges of gathering military information

Source: TASS

Laurent Vinatier, a French citizen who was arrested in Moscow on Thursday, has pleaded guilty to charges of evading Russia’s “foreign agents” legislation, according to Russian state news agency TASS.

Vinatier, a political scientist who works for a Swiss-based NGO dedicated to conflict resolution, stands accused of gathering information about Russia’s military activity without first registering as a “foreign agent.” He could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

In its initial announcement of the arrest, which left Vinatier unnamed, the Russian Investigative Committee said that the suspect failed to independently register as a “foreign agent” for several years despite making multiple visits to Russia and “holding meetings with Russian citizens.”

The agency also published footage of the arrest:

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