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Russia Adds Anti-War Actor, Ukraine Ex-Presidential Adviser to 'Terrorist' Registry

Oleksii Arestovych and Artur Smolyaninov (L-R). Photos from Facebook pages

Russia has added exiled actor Artur Smolyaninov and former Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksii Arestovych to its list of “terrorists and extremists,” the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported Thursday.

Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case in January against war movie star Smolyaninov, 39, for his support of Ukraine and criticism of the war. At the time, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Kremlin “doesn’t think anything good about this actor’s words.”

Arestovych, 47, served as an adviser to the head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s office until January, when he resigned over comments he made on a deadly Russian air strike in the central Ukrainian city of Dnipro.

The “terrorists and extremists” database, maintained by Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service, lists individuals whom Russian authorities believe are involved in activities that support  “terrorist or extremist” organizations. 

The designation means the two men are now locked out of the Russian banking system, as the country’s financial institutions are prohibited from providing services to individuals and organizations on the list.

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