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4 Mar, 2024 17:34

Arrest warrant issued for ex-Kremlin speechwriter

Abbas Gallyamov is alleged to have defamed the Russian military
Arrest warrant issued for ex-Kremlin speechwriter

A Moscow court on Monday issued a warrant for the arrest of Abbas Gallyamov, a former speechwriter for Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has since been declared a foreign agent.

The Basmanny District Court in Moscow ordered Gallyamov’s arrest in absentia, on grounds that he spread fake news about the Russian military. 

According to RIA Novosti, Gallyamov committed the offense in an April 9, 2022 interview to the YouTube channel ‘Groshi’ – a project of the Ukrainian TV channel 1+1 – in which he accused the Russian military of targeting and killing civilians in Bucha and Kramatorsk.

The day before, Ukraine had accused Russia of striking the Kramatorsk train station and killing 40 people. The missile turned out to be a Ukrainian Tochka-U, fired from behind Ukrainian lines, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Moscow has also denied responsibility for the deaths of civilians in Bucha near Kiev, pointing to Ukrainian talk of “liquidating traitors” after the Russian soldiers withdrew.

Gallyamov had worked for Putin from 2008 to 2010, when the current Russian president served as prime minister. After the Ukraine conflict escalated, he moved to Israel and began criticizing his former boss and the Russian government. 

Speaking to the US government-funded broadcaster RFE/RL in March 2023, Gallyamov called Russia “a fascist state” and said the return of Crimea to Russia in 2014 was his “breaking point” with the Kremlin.

In February 2023, Gallyamov was added to the register of “foreign agents” in Russia. If convicted, he faces 10-15 years behind bars.