“Our country must have an image in the world. If it’s positive, if people in the world see the country as democratic, free, civilized, safe and interesting in terms of history, nature and hospitality, this will attract them here,” Grigory Sarishvili, the [Russian Federal Tourism Agency’s] deputy head, told The St. Petersburg Times.
A top Russian official summoned a journalist to a one-on-one meeting in a forest and threatened to personally arrange his killing, according to one of the country’s leading newspapers.
Without providing any explanation, aides working for Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia’s investigative committee, which has powers similar to those of the FBI in America, drove Novaya Gazeta’s deputy editor, Sergei Sokolov, to a forest outside Moscow after a organised press trip and told security guards to leave them alone, it is claimed.
Bastrykin, in an “extremely emotional condition”, then expressed his opinions about Novaya Gazeta’s journalism and made threats against Sokolov’s life, suggesting he would himself oversee such an assassination. The allegations were made by the editor of Novaya Gazeta, Dmitry Muratov, in an open letter to Bastrykin published on Wednesday.
As a result of the alleged threats to his life, Sokolov has decided to leave Russia and is now outside the country….