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Moscow Court Arrests in Absentia Exiled Journalist Zygar 

Mikhail Zygar. Mikhail Zygar / Facebook

A Moscow court has ordered the arrest in absentia of exiled journalist Mikhail Zygar for spreading “false information” about the Russian military, state media reported Tuesday. 

Russian authorities pressed criminal charges against Zygar in March, with unconfirmed reports later saying that he was accused of spreading “fakes” on social media about atrocities committed by the Russian army in the Ukrainian city of Bucha. Last week, Zygar was added to Russia’s wanted list on unspecified charges.

Russian troops occupied Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, shortly after Moscow sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022. More than 450 people were massacred during the Russian occupation, according to the Ukrainian authorities.

The Kremlin has denied that the Russian military carried out atrocities against Bucha’s civilian population, instead accusing Kyiv and its Western allies of staging the scenes.

If convicted, Zygar, who currently lives outside Russia, could face up to 10 years in prison.

Zygar, a former editor-in-chief of the independent broadcaster Dozhd, was added to Russia’s list of “foreign agents” in October 2022. 

Since Moscow launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russian authorities have opened at least 297 criminal cases for spreading “fakes” about the war, according to the independent rights watchdog OVD-Info. 

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