Russia puts investigative journalist on wanted list

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LONDON (Reuters) - Investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov, known for his coverage of Russian security agencies, said on Monday that Russian authorities had placed him on a wanted list and frozen his bank accounts.

Soldatov, who co-founded the Agentura.ru website, wrote on Twitter: "My Monday: my accounts in Russian banks are under arrest, plus I'm placed on Russia's wanted list."

The Interior Ministry's website listed Soldatov, who could not be reached by phone, as wanted under an unspecified article of the criminal code.

In a separate post in the Telegram messaging platform, Soldatov wrote that the case against him had been filed in a manner similar to that of two journalists accused of spreading "fake information" about Moscow's military campaign in Ukraine.

"We are clarifying the details," Soldatov wrote.

Days after sending its troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, Russia passed a law providing for jail terms of up to 15 years for those convicted of intentionally spreading "fake" news about Russia's military.

Moscow says its "special military operation" is designed to defuse a security threat from Ukraine and protect its Russian-speakers from persecution.

Ukraine and Western countries have dismissed these claims as baseless pretexts for a land grab that has killed thousands, flattened cities and displaced 14 million people.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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