Russia: Court orders arrest of bestselling writer after he was pranked into expressing support for Ukraine on phone call

Source: CBS News

“A Moscow court ordered the arrest Tuesday of a bestselling detective novelist and dissident on charges of ‘justifying terrorism,’ two months after he was pranked by two pro-Kremlin activists into expressing support for Ukraine on a phone call. Moscow’s Basmanny District Court ordered Grigory Chkhartishvili, who is known under the pen name Boris Akunin and lives in London, to be taken into custody once he’s detained. In December, Russian authorities added the Russian-Georgian writer to Russia’s register of ‘extremists and terrorists’ over the call, in which two pranksters known as Vovan and Lexus posed as Ukrainian officials. A criminal case was opened against Akunin for ‘discrediting the army’ — specifically for ‘justifying terrorism’ and spreading ‘fake news’ about the Russian military.” (02/06/24)