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US state-run media editor detained in Russia

RFE’s Alsu Kurmasheva is reportedly suspected of gathering sensitive military data

Russian law enforcement officers have detained Alsu Kurmasheva, a journalist working for the US state-run media outlet Radio Free Europe, who has been charged with a failure to register as a foreign agent, the outlet has said.

According to both RFE/RL and the local news agency Tatar Inform, Kurmasheva was apprehended in the city of Kazan, central Russia, on Wednesday.

Tatar Info claimed in its report, citing a source familiar with the matter, that investigators believe that in September 2022, Kurmasheva, who holds Russian and US citizenships, was “deliberately gathering military data on Russia’s activities to further transfer it to foreign sources,” which could potentially undermine national security.


According to the source, the editor is believed to have obtained data about several local university professors who had been allegedly mobilized amid the Ukraine conflict. She then proceeded to use this information to compile “alternative analytical materials” for foreign institutions to discredit Russia, the news agency reports.

The authorities also reportedly believe that Kurmasheva violated Russian law, as she failed to provide the necessary documents to be listed as a foreign agent. The charge can carry a prison sentence of up to five years or a fine of up to 300,000 rubles ($3,000).



October 19, 2023 at 03:05PM

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