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5 Aug, 2020 18:34

Investigation launched into claims that employees of ex-oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s media group took part in 2014 gang rape

Investigation launched into claims that employees of ex-oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s media group took part in 2014 gang rape

Russia’s Investigative Committee has begun to look into allegations that Sergei Prostakov, the former chief editor of opposition website MBK Media, and photographer Andrey Zolotov participated in the gang rape of a girl in 2014.

On July 13, Victoria Kuzmenko, an employee at Russian news outlet Lenta.ru, wrote a tweet in which she claimed that Zolotov was involved in a rape at a house party, while Prostakov watched and masturbated. She later clarified she did not witness the incident herself. Following the accusations, both Prostakov and Zolotov resigned from their posts at MBK Media, which is owned by disgraced 1990s oligarch, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Responding to the allegations, Prostakov claimed he did not remember what happened, having been intoxicated, but apologized “to all the women whom [he] offended.” Meanwhile, Zolotov explained that there had been “group sex” at the party, but he had not participated

Prostakov’s ex-girlfriend also accused him of rape, in a long Twitter thread about their allegedly abusive relationship.

The claims against the two MBK Media employees were part of a series of tweets in mid-July, accusing multiple men of various acts of sexual harassment and assault. Also named were Sberbank employees Ruslan Gafarov, who resigned, and Sergey Minenko, who was suspended pending investigation and then

The accusations against Prostakov and Zolotov are the latest in a recent flurry of allegations of sexual misconduct against members of Russia’s opposition-leaning media. Meduza’s Editor-in-Chief Ivan Kolpakov was accused of groping a colleague’s wife at a party in 2018. He resigned, but quickly returned. Earlier this year, Ekho Moskvy boss Aleksey Venediktov was the subject of a long-form piece on BBC Russia accusing him of sexual misconduct. He denied the allegations, but apologized.

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