Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Site Blocked After Report on FSB Chief’s Alleged Secret Real Estate

Alexander Bortnikov / Kremlin Press Service

The 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 website remained inaccessible at the time of posting on Wednesday morning.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.