Russian media sees through drug fog

Central Station | 11 Jun 2019

Three top Russian daily newspapers published the same front page - in an unprecedented act of solidarity over the arrest of an investigative reporter.

"I am/we are Ivan Golunov," the Kommersant, Vedomosti and RBK newspapers all declared in giant letters yesterday.

Golunov, 36, a reporter with Meduza, an independent Russian-language media outlet, is being held over allegations he manufactured and dealt large amounts of designer drug mephedrone and cocaine.

His arrest sparked outrage among Russian journalists and supporters, who say the charges are a punishment for his reporting. If convicted, he faces between 10 and 20 years in prison.

The three dailies said the prosecution was an act of intimidation against Russian society, and demanded an investigation into the policemen who had detained him.

In his two decades in power, President Vladimir Putin has silenced most critics and muzzled the media.

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