Popular Telegram blogger and political scientist Ustinov detained in Yekaterinburg
The young political consultant is suspected of extortion and dissemination of false information.
The former owner of the anti-corruption website Ustav (Charter), author of the popular Telegram channel Ustinov Trollit and the less well-known DIP dubernatora, Alexander Ustinov, was detained at the Hyatt Hotel in Yekaterinburg while receiving 10 million rubles ($ 150,000) for not publishing compromising materials, Znak.com and Ura.ru reported, citing sources in the law enforcement agencies.
Ustinov was allegedly suspected of extortion (Article 163 CCRF), but there is no official confirmation of this. The Ural media write that Ustinov’s acquaintances were also detained: Ivan Bessenny, programmer Anton Stark, owner of the website kompromatural.ru Alexey Bocharov and Ukrainian Alexander Kozlov, who were called a “Russian-Ukrainian group abusing compromising material.” In particular, they are allegedly accused of slandering the heads of VTB and Rosneft, Andrey Kostin and Igor Sechin, as well as distributing compromising materials regarding other businessmen and high-ranking officials through Telegram and the websites rupolit.net, ustav.net, kompromatural.ru, compromat. ws, glavk.info, chel.pro, kommentator.ru, 59minut.info, cont.ws and compromat.group.
On November 28, the online publication Project, which was created by Rain’s former editor Roman Badanin after studying in the US, said that Rosneft and the Kovalchuks are actively using Durov’s messenger to post information beneficial to them on a paid basis. In addition, according to the Project, high-ranking officials have introduced stop lists in some Telegram channels. Among the corrupt administrators, the publication calls the authors of such popular channels as Nezygar, Karaulny and Kremlevsky Mamkoved.
Kupavnenskaya criminal group, known for a series of bloody crimes at the beginning of the decade, has been completely eliminated. The last of its active members who remained at large has been detained in Moscow.