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7 Mar, 2024 12:55

Russia issues arrest warrant for British journalist

Tom Rogan, who is based in the US, published an article in 2018 calling on Ukraine to strike the Crimean Bridge
Russia issues arrest warrant for British journalist

Russia’s Interior Ministry has issued an arrest warrant for US-based British journalist Tom Rogan, who in 2018 called for a Ukrainian strike on the Crimean Bridge. The reporter is accused of breaking an unspecified article of the Russian penal code.

On Wednesday, local media reported that Rogan’s personal details had appeared in a database of individuals wanted by Russian law enforcement.

In May 2018, Rogan published an op-ed on his website titled ‘Ukraine should blow up Putin’s Crimea bridge’, which also appeared in the Washington Examiner. The article was written shortly after President Vladimir Putin had opened the infrastructure linking the peninsula with mainland Russia.

In his piece, Rogan argued that the “exigent moral urgency” of a strike by Kiev on the bridge was “obvious,” claiming it was necessary to prevent the “extinction” of the Ukrainian state. The journalist also urged Washington to give Kiev its full backing.

Days later, Russia’s Investigative Committee launched a criminal case against the reporter as well as the Washington Examiner’s editor-in-chief, Hugo Gurdon, over suspected endorsement of terrorist activities on Russian territory.

Commenting on the article at the time, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov described it as the epitome of low-quality journalism.

Rogan, for his part, expressed no regret, but claimed he should have made it clearer that he only endorsed a Ukrainian strike that would not result in casualties.

Last month, Russian financial watchdog Rosfinmonitoring placed the former spokesperson for Ukraine’s Territorial Defense Forces, Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, on a list of individuals suspected of having ties with extremist or terrorist activities. The US national, who is transgender, has on multiple occasions directed death threats at Russian journalists.
In one video, Ashton-Cirillo vowed that “Russia’s war criminal propagandists will all be hunted down, and justice will be served.”

Last December, a court in Moscow issued an order in absentia for the arrest on terrorism charges of Kirill Budanov, the head of the Ukrainian military intelligence service (GUR).