A Russian court orders the arrest of novelist Boris Akunin | News of the Russian-Ukrainian war
The 67-year-old was charged last December with “justifying terrorism” after he expressed support for Ukraine in a prank phone call.
Moscow’s Basmanny District Court ordered the arrest of Akunin, the alias of Grigory Chkhartishvili, on Tuesday.
The 67-year-old was charged last December with “justifying terrorism” after he expressed support for Ukraine in a prank call organized by pro-Kremlin activists.
Akunin, who is currently residing in London, will be detained and detained if he sets foot in Russia.
The pranksters, known as Vovan and Lexus, posed as Ukrainian officials in their call last December, with one posing as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
A criminal case was opened against Akunin on charges of “defaming the army” – specifically on charges of “justifying terrorism” and spreading “false news” about the Russian military.
Moscow made it illegal to disparage its military weeks after launching its large-scale attack on Ukraine in February 2022, and detained thousands of people for criticizing the war.
Many prominent cultural figures have fled the country since then.
Akunin, best known for his historical detective novels, is one of the most widely read contemporary authors in Russia.
A long-time critic of the Kremlin, he denounced Moscow’s attack on Ukraine as “ridiculous” shortly after it began in February 2022.
Before that, he had already been classified as a “foreign agent” by Moscow.
One of Russia’s leading publishing houses, AST, responded by announcing the suspension of printing and sales of Akunin’s books.
In an online statement, Akunin called his publisher’s move an “important milestone,” saying Russian writers had not been accused of terrorism since Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s purges.
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