The Russiangate.com investigative website was shut down hours after it published a report Wednesday alleging that the chief of Russia’s Federal Security Services (FSB) owns secret real estate outside St. Petersburg.
The website claimed that FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov owns a land plot and luxury house worth up to 300 million rubles ($5.3 million) in Sestroretsk, 30 kilometers northwest of St. Petersburg. It said that the real estate did not appear in the government official’s end-of-year tax declarations and was deleted from the state property registry last year.
“Three hours after publishing the investigation on Bortnikov’s undeclared real estate, we have been blocked,” chief editor Alexandrina Yelagina said on her Telegram messaging app channel late Tuesday.
In comments to MBKh media, Yelagina said the decision was likely taken by Russia's state media watchdog Roskomnadzor after a request by the Prosecutor General's office, though she said neither organization had notified the website about any violations.
The Russiangate.com website remained inaccessible at the time of posting on Wednesday morning.