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Russia's FSB Demands List of Editors At Ekho Moskvy Radio

Alexei Venediktov, editor-in-chief of the Ekho Moskvy radio station
Alexei Venediktov, editor-in-chief of the Ekho Moskvy radio station

Russian security agents have stepped up their investigation of Ekho Moskvy radio, demanding a list of editors at the Moscow station as part of a probe into allegations that include inciting ethnic hatred.

The station's editor-in-chief, Aleksei Venediktov, said on Twitter on July 14 that investigators from the Federal Security Service (FSB) asked for a list of employees at the station, one of the few independent media outlets remaining in Russia.

He said the request was connected to an ongoing investigation involving an article published on the station's website in January by analyst and Kremlin critic Andrei Piontkovsky, who fled Russia in 2016.

Earlier in July, FSB investigators seized e-mails and documents and summoned the station's web editor for questioning.

There was no immediate comment from the FSB. But in a statement earlier in July, the FSB said the investigation concerned allegations of incitement of ethnic hatred and undermining Russia's territorial integrity.

Piontkovsky fled Russia after some lawmakers demanded a criminal investigation into the article he wrote in January about Russia's turbulent North Caucasus region. Piontkovsky suggested Russia should allow Chechnya to secede.

Owned by a Kremlin-controlled natural gas company, Ekho Moskvy is one of the few remaining independent media outlets in Russia.It previously has managed to avoid being targeted for criminal investigations, which are often used in Russia to silence media.

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