A court in Moscow has issued an arrest warrant for a food blogger and magazine founder for allegedly "spreading fake news" about the Russian military.
The Basmanny district court announced its decision on May 24 to arrest Veronika Belotserkovskaya, who founded the St. Petersburg magazine and website Sobaka. Belotserkovskaya currently lives in France.
On March 16, Russia's Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against the Ukrainian-born Belotserkovskaya, who blogs under the name Belonika, for allegedly spreading false news about the Russian Army on her Instagram account, which has almost 950,000 subscribers.
She was accused of publishing several Instagram posts containing "deliberately false information about the armed forces of the Russian Federation's destruction of cities and civilians in Ukraine, including children, during a special military operation."
Some of the posts cited the coverage of the war by Western news agencies and media outlets.
Russia's media regulator, Roskomnadzor, has strictly limited access to information about the war in Ukraine launched by Russia on February 24 and directed media to describe events in Ukraine as a “special military operation” and not a war or an invasion.
On May 14, Russian authorities added Belotserkovskaya to the wanted list.
Following the opening of the criminal case against her in March, Belotserkovskaya transferred ownership of Sobaka to its employees.