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Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Exiled Journalist Serafimov

Andrei Serafimov. Andrei Serafimov / Instagram

Russia’s Interior Ministry has issued an arrest warrant for journalist Andrei Serafimov, who is believed to have fled the country, news outlets reported Friday.

The law enforcement body’s online database of wanted persons lists Serafimov but does not specify which criminal charges he faces in Russia.

The journalist said in December he had been charged with public calls to carry out actions against the Russian state, a crime punishable by up to six years in prison. 

Serafimov, a native of the Tomsk region in southern Siberia, said he believes the criminal case was launched in connection with his anti-mobilization posts on social media.

Since 2019, he has written for Russia’s independent news outlet Meduza and Novaya Gazeta Europe, both of which the Russian authorities have banned as “undesirable” organizations.

Before taking up journalism, Serafimov held senior posts in Molodaya Gvardiya, a Kremlin-backed youth organization founded by the ruling United Russia party. 

Commenting on his arrest warrant Friday, Serafimov quipped on his Telegram channel that “it’s still legal to befriend me and talk to me.”

Hundreds of Russian journalists have fled their country in the months since Moscow invaded Ukraine in 2022.

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