Russia’s Interior Ministry placed Christo Grozev, the lead Russia journalist with the open-source investigative journalism group Bellingcat, on its wanted list on Monday.
In keeping with previous wanted lists, the ministry did not specify which criminal offense Grozev was suspected of.
The Interior Ministry only provided the Bulgarian national’s birthplace, date of birth, gender, and nationality in an emailed response to a search on the ministry’s website.
Grozev, 50, has long been a thorn in the Kremlin’s side, having played key roles in a number of Bellingcat’s most explosive investigations, including that into the 2018 poisoning of Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the British city of Salisbury, and the 2020 poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny on a domestic flight in Siberia.
“I have no idea on what grounds the Kremlin has put me on its “wanted list”, thus I cannot provide any comments at this time. In a way it doesn’t matter — for years they’ve made it clear they are scared of our work and would stop at nothing to make it go away,” Grozev tweeted on Monday shortly after the Interior Ministry’s announcement.
In July, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claimed that Grozev had been involved in a “foiled plot” to hijack Russian fighter jets, though it did not say if it had ultimately pressed criminal charges against the journalist.
Grozev denied the agency’s July allegations and accused Russia’s domestic intelligence agency of forging evidence to support its claims, as well as inadvertently revealing the identities of some of its own agents in its probe of the supposed hijacking plot.