The arrest of Ivan Safronov

I was recently a guest on Kevin Rothrock’s Naked Pravda podcast on Meduza.io, talking about the role of military journalism in Russia and the potential impact of the arrest and prosecution of Ivan Safronov. Here’s the description of the show from the Meduza.io website, where you can also hear the full interview.


On the morning of July 7, federal agents arrested Ivan Safronov, a longtime journalist who recently took a job as a communications adviser to Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. Safronov is being charged with treason and faces up to 20 years in prison. 

His lawyers have been granted limited access to the case file compiled by the Federal Security Service, which indicates that Safronov is suspected of selling secret information to Czech intelligence agents about Russian military cooperation with an unnamed African Middle Eastern country. The Czechs supposedly recruited him in 2012 and he allegedly sent them the data over the Internet five years later in 2017.

Outside the FSB’s headquarters in Lubyanka Square, during Safronov’s arraignment hearing on July 7, dozens of journalists picketed, each taking turns holding up signs in his defense, and police officers arrested them, one by one, for an unlawful assembly. 

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