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Forbes Russia journalist placed under house arrest

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A Russian court on Saturday placed Sergei Mingazov, a journalist for the Russian edition of Forbes, under house arrest, state media reported.

Mingazov was detained Friday on charges of spreading false information about the Russian military, his lawyer Konstantin Bubon said on Facebook.

Bubon said the journalist was arrested for reposting publications about what happened in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, where Ukrainian authorities found the bodies of more than 400 civilians after Moscow’s forces withdrew in April 2022. Ukraine has officially filed war-crimes charges against Russian soldiers over the killings in Bucha, but Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Bubon told Forbes Russia that authorities had searched Mingazov’s house and seized his computer and phone. According to the lawyer, Mingazov was being detained in the far-eastern city of Khabarovsk. On Saturday, Russia’s state-run RIA reported that Mingazov had been placed under house arrest.

Forbes Russia said on Friday that it had not yet been able to contact Mingazov.

Under Russia’s “fake news” laws, which were expanded shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, those who “knowingly” spread supposed false information about the Russian military risk prison sentences of up to 15 years.

Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich has been in Russian custody for more than a year after being  arrested and accused of spying for the U.S. — charges he and his employers strongly deny. Russian President Vladimir Putin has hinted he could be interested in using Gershkovich in a prisoner swap.

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