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Russian investigative journalist Sergei Kanev (file photo)

A Russian investigative journalist says he has left the country fearing possible prosecution for his work.

Sergei Kanev, who took part in a Bellingcat probe into the identity of the two main suspects accused by Britain in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, said he was on "vacation" in one of the Baltic states.

Speaking to the Russian news outlet RBK on September 29, Kanev said "There are a load of my investigations that have angered certain high-ranking officials."

"This is not only about Boshirov and Petrov," Kanev added, referring to the two main suspects in the Skripal poisoning in Salisbury on March 4.

The investigative website Bellingcat on September 20 said a joint investigation with Business Insider had confirmed the two suspects, Ruslan Boshirov and Aleksandr Petrov, had links to Russian military intelligence, casting doubts on the two's claims that they were mere tourists visiting England at the time of the attack.

On September 26, Bellingcat said it and Insider had determined that Borishov was actually Anatoly Chepiga, a member of the Russian military intelligence agency GRU who was awarded Russia’s highest award in 2014.

The Kremlin has denied any role in the nerve agent poisoning of Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.

The Skripals survived the attack with the Soviet-designed nerve agent Novichok in Salisbury on March 4.

A resident of a nearby English town later died after apparently having contact with the poison.

The poisoning has dealt a further blow to ties between Russia and the West, already strained over Syria and Russia's actions in Ukraine.

Based on reporting by Current Time TV and RBK
A photo released by the Russian penitentiary service on September 28 showed imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov being medically examined.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has demanded access to Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who has been on hunger strike in a Russian prison for more than four months.

In a tweet on September 29, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mariana Betsa called for Ukrainian officials and doctors to be allowed to visit Sentsov.

Russia's penitentiary service said on September 28 that an unspecified "correction" in Sentsov's treatment had been ordered. It later published a photo of him being examined with a stethoscope.

Sentsov, a Crimean native who opposed Russia's 2014 seizure of the Ukrainian peninsula, is serving a 20-year prison term after being convicted of terrorism in a trial that he, human rights groups, and Western governments contend was politically motivated.

Imprisoned in Russia’s far-northern Yamalo-Nenets region, Sentsov started a hunger strike on May 14, demanding that Russia release 64 fellow Ukrainians he considers political prisoners.

Sentsov has refused to seek a pardon from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch said, citing a lawyer for Sentsov, that he agreed to begin taking an oral nutritional supplement at some point in the past two months, after suffering his first health crisis.

Ambassadors from the Group of Seven (G7) leading industrialized nations as well as major figures from the world of cinema, including director Jean-Luc Godard and actor Johnny Depp, have all called for Sentsov's release.

During the Venice film festival earlier this month, Hollywood stars urged Moscow not to let him die, and leading figures in the Russian film industry have also called for his release.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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