Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has restricted access to his social media accounts after journalists accused him of abusing his position to help a nephew working at an arms manufacturer.
The investigative Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported Monday that the state official’s alleged nephew, Roman Rogozin, served as a board director at a defense firm that attempted to use the deputy prime minister’s help to secure a multimillion-dollar loan for a state project.
Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin, who Novaya Gazeta said had lobbied the firm’s interests, denied having a nephew after the story came out and accused the newspaper of lying.
“Dmitry Rogozin has no nephew named Roman. He has no nephews at all,” his spokesman told Novaya Gazeta.
The investigative newspaper hit back on Wednesday, providing screenshots of social media posts in which the state official referenced a person he called “my nephew Roman Rogozin."
Following Wednesday's report, Rogozin restricted his Russian and English-language Twitter accounts to his followers and deleted posts referencing his alleged nephew, social media users reported. Access to his Facebook page was also briefly restricted on Tuesday.
Olesya Shmagun, one of the authors of the Novaya Gazeta investigation, appealed to readers to forward unanswered questions to the elder Rogozin on social media.
“Maybe there he will finally explain the difference between ‘his nephew’ and his non-nephew?” she wrote.