Breaking into the home of three Proekt journalists, who were about to publish an investigation into the Russian Interior Minister and the fortune of his millionaire son. Thus in Russia, freedom of information is restricted
Because investigators search journalists. Today, June 29, early in the morning, three of our colleagues from The project: Our Editor-in-Chief, Roman Badanen and journalists Michael Rubin e Maria Zolobova. Their phones and computers were confiscated. We see these actions as an attempt to censor, pressure colleagues and call for an end to actions against journalists The project“.
This is the comment posted on the Telegram channel of the Russian information portal The project, who was about to publish an investigation into the property of the Russian Minister of the Interior, Vladimir Kolokoltsev And his family.
a second The project, the characteristics of the Kolokoltsev family have a connection with a businessman associated with the Izmaylovo organized criminal group. It is worth noting that one of the grandchildren of Kolokoltsev’s wife, who resides in Rostov-on-Don, became the owner of luxury real estate after the appointment of the minister in 2012.
The report has been reformulated by investigative reporters from The project, starting with the digital permits requested by the Kolokoltsev family members in the 2020 lockdown period.
The article is entitled “Portrait of the Minister of the Interior Vladimir Kolokoltsev with his family” and is divided into four parts: How did the minister’s son approach the authorities? how Kolokoltsev’s relatives got rich; How the minister became friends with well-known businessmen and what his family hides.
The text states that “One of the greatest secrets of the Russian police concerns the well-being of Alexander Kolokoltsev, the son of the Minister of the Interior. His property is hidden in the state databases although the son of the Minister has never worked in the public administration. Perhaps the reason is that many of the property and possessions of the Minister’s family are registered, Among other things, thanks to the links between the Kolokoltsevs, influential businessmen and at least one Izmaylovo authority. ”
a second Moscow Times, the report on Zholobova, citing databases of Covid medical passports filtered from Moscow, claimed that Kolokoltsev is the actual owner of a property worth about $ 2.8 million in the richest district of Moscow, Rublyovka, which, according to the official, the documents belong to a distant relative.
The project He also claims that Kolokoltsev’s son has about $25 million worth of real estate related to Russian crime.
“Investigators don’t care how family members of people in government positions got hold of property they obviously couldn’t afford, but how journalists knew – continues Letter The project on Telegram -. Not because the assets of important people in management, or their loved ones, are hidden from the public, but because the public knows it. Not because people who keep the law end up in ambiguous relationships with the law, but because journalists know it. Those who should enforce the law want to portray journalists as criminals and during interrogation they ask them, others.”
The newspaper claims that at least two of the three raids are also linked to a defamation case in a 2017 documentary, which Badanin and Zulobova worked on. The documentary investigated a Saint Petersburg businessman with alleged links to organized crime.
repression case against The project is not isolated. In the past months, Jellyfish e VTimes They are classified as “foreign agents,” a qualification attributed to groups, newspapers, or individuals that receive foreign funding. VTimes closed this month, Jellyfish Launch a crowdfunding campaign.
Moscow also used this law to impose fines on US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Moreover, at the beginning of 2021, there was a raid on the journalist’s apartment roman whine, and arrested four editors of an opposition student magazine.