Forbes Russia journalist detained on suspicion of spreading 'fake news' about army

Forbes' unionized journalists stage first walk-out in magazine's history, in New York

LONDON (Reuters) -Sergei Mingazov, a journalist for the Russian edition of Forbes, has been detained on suspicion of spreading false information about the Russian army, the magazine said on Friday.

Konstantin Bubon, Mingazov's lawyer, said on Facebook that his client was in a detention centre in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk, where he lives. Forbes Russia said it had not been able to contact the reporter.

Laws passed shortly after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 prescribe long jail sentences for people convicted of deliberately spreading false news about the armed forces.

The lawyer said Mingazov was detained for reposting publications about alleged Russian war crimes in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, where killings of Ukrainian civilians in the first weeks of the war were reported by Reuters and other news organisations. The Kremlin denied its troops had executed people and said there had been a "monstrous forgery".

Mingazov's Telegram channel contains dozens of posts referring to Bucha. It was not clear which of them was the reason for placing him under investigation.

The Russian human rights project OVD-Info said that the Khabarovsk district court would consider placing him under formal arrest on Saturday.

(Reporting by ReutersEditing by Mark Trevelyan)