Christo Grozev: I am afraid of Murder or Kidnapping

Politics | December 28, 2022, Wednesday // 10:44|  views

@Nova TV

"I'm afraid of what in Russian they call ‘еxcess of the contractor‘ - someone who will decide on his own to do a favor for the Kremlin - cause death or try to kidnap me. That's the bigger risk." This is what the Bulgarian investigative journalist Christo Grozev from investigative network 'Bellingcat' said to Nova TV. Grozev was declared wanted by Russia.

"For at least 2-3 years, the FSB has had a huge problem with our investigations. We have received signals from our informants to be careful with new acquaintances, with people who want to get to know us," Grozev also said.

He did not reveal which country, or even which continent, he is currently in.

 "I am not doing it on purpose. But when I was declared a federal wanted man, I was on another continent, so I had to stay," said Grozev.

"For at least 2-3 years, not only I, but also the colleagues from "Bellingcat" have a special mode of travel, with buying tickets at the last minute, so that it cannot be easily guessed where we are traveling, what we are investigating. Now things go to a qualitatively different level. In order to return to Austria, where I live, I have to change a significant part of my tickets so that I don't end up on the territory of a country that can do the Kremlin a favor," Grozev said.

He defined the inclusion of a foreign journalist's name in the FSB list as a precedent.

Grozev does not know why he is included in this list. He said hired lawyers in Russia. "They cannot understand what exactly I am suspected and accused of," said Grozev.

"I also hired a lawyer from the human rights organization Agora‘. For the second day now, they can't get any information. I hope we get it soon," he said.

Grozev believes he caught the attention of Russian services in 2016 with his investigation into the downing of the Malaysian airliner. "Every year I went to Russia to train journalists. In 2016, a black stamp was placed on my exit from the country," said the journalist. “In 2019, our investigation dealt a serious blow to their services. It was about the murder in Berlin of a Chechen refugee. Practically, our investigation was the main evidence in a courtroom, by which an agent of the FSB was sentenced to life and he is currently in a Berlin prison. And at the end of 2020, we revealed who poisoned Navalny, but we did it in a way that practically humiliated the FSB. For me, this is the moment when certain instructions have been dropped by Putin. This is information that was given to me by people close to him, so I am sure," said Grozev.

"Two days before the Bulgarian government summoned Mitrofanova, three other governments in Europe offered me help," Grozev also said.

He added that so far he has been offered help from the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, and Estonia.

For now, he knows from Russian state media that he is wanted under the Russian Law on Spreading Fake News about the Russian military operation.

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Tags: Grozev, Russia, FSB, wanted


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