Journalists and ordinary Muscovites, outraged by the paranoid behavior of the security forces, gathered at the FSB building to express their protest by the arrest of journalist and adviser to the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, Ivan Safonov, writes NYT. Andrei Soldatov, who himself writes investigations into Russian intelligence services, called Safonov’s arrest and charges of espionage "an entirely new level of repression against journalists". Even people blindly loyal to the Kremlin, like Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the television channel RT created on his money, wrote on her Twitter account that it would be nice to get an explanation of whether the journalist worked for foreigners or for foreign intelligence services. Big difference". The NYT journalist understands the boss’s excitement, because her employees work around the world, and what happened to Ivan Safonov, foreign governments can use as an argument to detain her own employees, who are often accused of spreading Kremlin propaganda.
BBC cites two statements by Russian authorities. Roscosmos claims that the arrest of the former journalist is not connected with his work as an adviser in their department. At the same time, journalists cite the words of Kremlin speaker Dmitry Peskov that the Kremlin knows that the arrest is not related to his journalistic activities.
The ARD asks the question: If the authorities officially declare that the arrest is not related to his investigations into arms deals in regions where there is a war, nor to notes about accidents during testing of weapons and equipment, and not about his activities in Roscosmos - what is it about then?
Sarah Rainsford of the Air Force writes about the extreme difficulty of the case. Getting information about an espionage investigation is extremely difficult in Russia. The FSB engages its experts to determine what is a state secret, and it is almost impossible to challenge their allegations. Chekists accuse Safonov of transmitting information on military-technical cooperation, defense and security. At the trial, Ivan Safonov pleaded not guilty.
Spiegel quotes Interfax: Ivan’s lawyers said the FSB believes that Safonov was recruited by Czech intelligence 8 years ago. In 2017, Ivan allegedly gave them secret information about arms deliveries to Africa and the Middle East. Alexander Morozov quotes the Donbass media that the arrest of Safonov is the revenge of the security forces for the demolition of the Konev monument in Prague. The order to demolish the monument was given by the head of Prague 6, Ondřej Kolář, at the instigation of his father, the former Czech ambassador to Moscow. If Ivan met with the ambassador, he does not remember this. He was then 22 years old and he, like all journalists, went to receptions at various embassies. Spiegel wonders how Safonov could have been hired by the Roskosmos leadership a month and a half ago, if, according to intelligence agencies, he is a traitor to the homeland?
The New York Times recalls other cases of harassment of journalists. A year ago, the journalistic community managed to repel Ivan Golunov, who was charged with fake charges of possession and distribution of drugs. Although the persecution of Svetlana Prokopieva did not end with the arrest, she pleaded guilty.
Without exception, all the media said that this matter will become long and resonant. Everyone promised to follow it.