Corruption · Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

Editor-in-chief of Krasnoyarsk local anti-corruption newspaper shot dead


Dmitry Popkov

Yet another case of an attack against a journalist responsible for exposing Russian crime and corruption. 

This appears to be an acceptable crime in Russia.  “A criminal” will probably “be caught” after an impossibly swift investigation. 

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The murder of Dmitry Popkov might be job-related since the newspaper where he worked had published articles on corruption. The editor had remarked that many officials found them a “pain in the neck”.

Dmitry Popkov, the editor-in-chief of Ton-M newspaper and former deputy of Minusinsk town council in Krasnoyarsk Region, was found dead last night in the bathhouse of his own backyard.

A local resident called the police after he had heard claps sounding like shots at about 11 PM. The police arrived to find the body of the 42-year-old man with gunshot wounds. According to the local news outlet Sreda 24, Popkov could be killed with a gun with a silencer. Five gunshot wounds were found on the body of the journalist.

The local Investigative Committee instituted criminal proceedings under the article Murder (part 1 of Art. 105 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Along with other versions, the investigation is considering a job-related murder.

The motto of Ton-M paper reads: “We write what other people keep quiet about.” According to Sreda 24, the newspaper would often become the “focus of interest of the authorities and law enforcement agencies”, and the paper has had a long history of “pressure, lawsuits and searches”.

“Our newspaper has long been accustomed to being a pain in the neck for many officials who are trying to jump down our throat in every possible way. So far, no one has succeeded in it, including our public prosecutor everyone just loves in the town. We couldn’t care less about all the phone threats, intimidation by searches and interrogations,” Dmitry Popkov wrote in his newspaper in 2016. The editor-in-chief claimed that the authorities were concerned about the “corruption incidents that we reveal.”

Dmitry Popkov had been a deputy of the town council from the Communist Party. In 2012 he was a person of interest in a high-profile case about beating of a teenager. During the celebration of the Town’s Day Popkov struck a 15-year-old schoolboy suffering from diabetes and injured his insulin pump. Popkov claimed he was innocent assuring that the charges brought against him were just a pretext to remove him from the Duma. During the trial, Popkov tried to commit suicide in the investigative department. Eventually, the court sentenced the parliamentarian to 300 hours of community service.

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