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Russian Security Agents Search Bank Controlled By Oligarch Lebedev

The National Reserve bank in Moscow
The National Reserve bank in Moscow
Agents of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) have raided the headquarters of a bank controlled by oligarch and former KGB agent Aleksandr Lebedev.

It was not clear what the FSB was looking for during the raid on February 17, and the FSB has not commented.

A spokesman for the National Reserve Bank told Reuters that in recent days as many as 130 officials from Russia's Central Bank have been investigating Lebedev's personal accounts, "including the accounts he uses to finance his newspapers."

Lebedev owns the British papers "The Independent" and "Evening Standard," as well as the Moscow opposition paper "Novaya gazeta."

In recent days, the owners of the independent Ekho Moskvy radio station reshuffled its board of directors in a move journalists say was aimed at influencing coverage of the March 4 presidential election.

Compiled from agency reports

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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