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Investigative journalist Christo Grozev added to the Russian “wanted list”.

origin 1Bulgarian investigative journalist and Russian lead investigator with Bellingcat Christo Grozev poses for a photo session at the Institute of Political Studies ©AFP

Bulgaria is protesting as a “scare tactic” the addition of Bellingcat investigative journalist Christo Grozev to a wanted list by Russia.

Grozev is a lead investigator at the Bellingcat outlet, which specializes in Russian news. This week he was added to a wanted list on the Interior Ministry website “pursuant to an article of the penal code”.

The Bulgarian journalist has historically angered Moscow with his work on the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and the downing of the MH17 passenger plane over eastern Ukraine. His most recent reports have focused on the invasion of Ukraine.

“This act is unacceptable. It represents an attack on freedom of speech and an attempt to intimidate a Bulgarian citizen,” interim Bulgarian Prime Minister Galeb Donev told Reuters reporters.

Grozev is already keeping his whereabouts under wraps for security reasons, but tweeted that “they have made it clear for years that they are afraid of our work and would stop at nothing to make it go away.” He also insinuated that he believes it is a scare tactic to prevent other journalists from exploring what is happening in Russia.

On Wednesday, Grozev spoke to Bulgarian TV station NOVA and said he feared for his life.

He added that he has been offered help from the Netherlands, Sweden, Estonia and Austria, all places where he has lived in recent years. According to the Bulgarian president’s office, Sofia is also taking steps to ensure her safety.