(PatriotWise.com) – Last week, Russian authorities announced they were investigating a famous actor who has been criticizing the war in Ukraine, as well as a philanthropist who supports opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Russia’s Investigative Committee said in a statement last Monday that its chief, Alexander Bastrykin, ordered the launch of a criminal probe into Artur Smolyaninov, a Russian film and stage star who fled the country after the invasion of Ukraine, for repeatedly speaking out against the war.
The committee accused Smolyaninov of making “a series of statements directed against Russia” during a recent interview with a Western media outlet. However, the committee did not say which of Smolyaninov’s remarks were criminal or what charges would be brought against him.
In an interview with Novaya Gazeta Europe the previous week, Smolyaninov said if he had to fight in the war, he would fight on the side of Ukraine.
The investigation of Smolyaninov comes as Russian lawmakers have grown increasingly hostile to Russian nationals who left the country because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Some have suggested seizing the property of those who move abroad or increasing taxes on those who continue to work remotely for Russian companies while living abroad. Other lawmakers have described the ex-pats as “traitors.”
Meanwhile, the Russian Interior Ministry placed prominent philanthropist Boris Zimin on an international most wanted list for fraud charges, Kremlin officials said last Monday.
Zimin, who has reportedly lived outside of Russia since 2015, has funded several independent Russian media outlets as well as projects from imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny. In September, Zimin was placed on Russia’s register of people considered “foreign agents.”
Alexei Navalny, one of Vladimir Putin’s fiercest political opponents, said that it was Boris Zimin who paid the 79,000 euros to evacuate him to Berlin in August 2020 after Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent and left in a coma in the Siberian city of Omsk.
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