Russia adds a popular sci-fi author to its most wanted list

An Interior Ministry official closes the gate, with Red Square and St. Basil’s Cathedral in the background in central Moscow, Russia November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

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JUNE (Reuters) – Russia on Tuesday put Dmitry Glukhovsky, a popular science fiction author, on its wanted list after accusing him of spreading false information about his military intervention in Ukraine.

In a post on messaging app Telegram, Glukhovsky wrote that he was accused of discrediting the Russian armed forces in an Instagram post.

“I am ready to repeat everything that was said there: ‘Stop the war! Admit this is a war against an entire nation and stop it!” he wrote.

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The Interior Ministry website listed Glukhovsky, best known for the sci-fi novel Metro 2033 and its sequels, as wanted under an unspecified article of the Criminal Code.

Russia has already targeted opposition figures and journalists with a law offering up to 15 years in prison for those convicted of willfully spreading “fake” news about the Russian military.

Glukhovsky is the first major cultural figure to be wanted under the new law passed days after Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.

The case against Glukhovsky, who has been open about Moscow’s military campaign on social media, has sparked outrage among Russian opposition figures.

“Putin used to be afraid of politicians, but now he fears writers too,” Lyubov Sobol, an ally of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, wrote on Twitter.

The team of another jailed opposition figure, Andrei Pivovarov, wrote on Twitter in response to Glukhovsky’s inclusion on the wanted list: “The repressive machinery will overwhelm everyone.”

Moscow says its “military special operation” aims to demilitarize Ukraine and protect its Russian speakers from persecution.

Ukraine and Western countries have dismissed these claims as baseless pretexts for a land grab that has killed thousands and displaced millions.

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Reuters reporting; Adaptation by Guy Faulconbridge and Tomasz Janowski

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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