Ivan Golunov

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Ivan Golunov
Ivan Golunov (photo by Taya Bekbulatova) (1) cropped.jpg
Ivan Valentinovich Golunov

(1983-01-19) 19 January 1983 (age 36)

Ivan Valentinovich Golunov (Russian: Ива́н Валенти́нович Голуно́в; born 19 January 1983, Moscow) is a Russian investigative journalist and anti-corruption reporter currently working for independent outlet Meduza.[1][2][3] He became famous in June 2019 when he was charged with drug-related crime by Moscow Police and later released when an unprecedented and widespread public outcry followed.[note 1] By the time he was arrested several dozens of Golunov's works (in Russian) about corruption among officials and businessmen in Moscow and several other cities and regions were made public and offered for reprint and distribution in order to raise public awareness of the case.[note 2][14] The persecution of Golunov has attracted much attention from Russian internet and social media community and was met with severe criticism of the police power abuse.[16][11][17]


Ivan Golunov was born on 19 January 1983 in Moscow.[18]


He worked for Vedomosti, Forbes, RBK, Slon Magazine and on the TV channel Dozhd. At the present time, Golunov is a special correspondent for the online media Meduza.


The arrest and investigation in 2019[edit]

On 7 June 2019 Golunov was arrested by Moscow City Police over drug-related crime charges.[19] Colleagues and friends of Golunov expressed belief that the case was fabricated and charges motivated by his investigations into corruption.[20] In defense of Ivan Golunov spoke Alexey Navalny,[21] Vladimir Posner,[22] Yuri Shevchuk,[23] Zemfira,[24] Alexey Venediktov,[25] Victor Matizen,[26] Victor Shenderovich,[27] Anna Narinskaya,[27] Ksenia Sobchak,[28] Boris Grebenshchikov,[29] Dmitry Muratov,[25] Andrey Zvyagintsev,[30] Leonid Parfyonov,[31] Grigory Yavlinsky,[32] Oxxxymiron[33], and a number of other journalists, artists and public figures.[34]

In a press release about the arrest of Golunov and a search of his apartment, the police published a series of photos, eight of which showed a drugs lab.[35] These photographs were widely distributed through Telegram channels linked to the police. Soon the police officially confirmed that they were taken in the apartment of the suspect. However, then they were forced to admit that an error occurred and only one photo was actually taken at Golunov's apartment.[36]

Golunov was sentenced to house arrest until 7 August, and released in the courtroom.[37][38]

In a show of solidarity for the journalist, three major Russian newspapers, Kommersant, Vedomosti and RBK, published a joint editorial under the headline I am / We are Ivan Golunov.[39]

On 11 June 2019, the Anti-Corruption Foundation published an investigation that linked alleged masterminds behind Golunov's persecution to official in FSS.[40][41] On the same day he was released and the charges against him were dropped. Almost simultaneously, Oyub Titiev was also released by another Russian court.[42][3]

On 12 June 2019, despite the release of Ivan Golunov, a planned but unauthorized rally was held in Moscow in support of him and with a call to punish those involved in the fabrication of criminal cases. Officers in riot gear clashed with protesters and hundreds of peoples were detained, including Navalny and a member of staff from German magazine Der Spiegel, as well as many Russian journalists.[43]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The response spanned a very diverse range of figures whose union was unlikely to happen.[4][3][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]
  2. ^ They are available for free under Creative Commons License.[14][15]


  1. ^ "Russian reporter charged with drug dealing". 8 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Ivan Golunov: Russian journalist walks free after police drop criminal charges". euronews.com. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Bennetts, Marc (11 June 2019). "Ivan Golunov: Russian police drop charges against journalist". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  4. ^ Bennetts, Marc (11 June 2019). "Ivan Golunov: Russian police drop charges against journalist". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 June 2019. The developments came after an unprecedented display of solidarity from Russian journalists and cultural figures that piled massive pressure on the Kremlin. Three major Russian newspapers on Monday ran near-identical front pages in defence of the journalist, whose arrest was seen as a watershed moment for independent media in Russia... Golunov’s arrest was condemned by figures across a wide spectrum of Russian society
  5. ^ "Ivan Golunov: Charges against Russian anti-corruption journalist dropped following outcry". Sky News. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  6. ^ "In historic collaboration, Russia's three major business newspapers publish front pages for Ivan Golunov". meduza.io. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Russian newspapers show rare solidarity with detained, beaten journalist". cbsnews.com. Retrieved 14 June 2019. Russia's media landscape is fragmented, and such a show of solidarity in the media is rarely seen.
  8. ^ "'We are Golunov': Leading Russian papers run similar frontpage supporting charged journalist". RT International. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  9. ^ Mackinnon, Amy. "Journalist's Release Reveals Cracks in the Putin System". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 14 June 2019. The outcry it provoked was such that it tipped the balance to outweigh the political capital of whoever ordered it, forcing a U-turn from the top, Weber said.
  10. ^ "Russian journalist Ivan Golunov released from house arrest after drug charges dropped". The Independent. 11 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019. the Russian journalistic community is hardly known for acts of solidarity. But the journalist’s plight provoked an unprecedented multi-level response that surprised almost everyone watching.
  11. ^ a b "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 June 2019. His arrest sparked widespread condemnation that spread beyond media circles and caught the Kremlin off-guard.
  12. ^ "Ivan Golunov case: Russian media mark victory over police | DW | 11 June 2019". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 14 June 2019. Even pro-Kremlin, state-run media outlets and major television stations demanded Golunov be treated fairly.
  13. ^ "Accused Russian reporter is freed after outcry". 11 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  14. ^ a b "We've released all of Ivan Golunov's writing for 'Meduza' under a Creative Commons license". meduza.io. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  15. ^ Trilling, Samuel. "Meduza Disseminates Golunov's Work, Lifts Copyright". occrp.org. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Subscribe to read". Financial Times. Retrieved 14 June 2019. Rare victory for an independent journalist in Russia follows wide public anger over case
  17. ^ "How Ivan Golunov cost Putin more than Robert Mueller | Opinion". Newsweek. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Иван Голунов. Обо мне". snob.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  19. ^ "'Meduza' correspondent Ivan Golunov arrested in Moscow A statement from CEO Galina Timchenko and editor-in-chief Ivan Kolpakov". meduza.io. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  20. ^ Roth, Andrew (7 June 2019). "Russian police accused of arresting journalist on false charges". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  21. ^ «Подстава и скотство»: что говорят об аресте корреспондента «Медузы» Ивана Голунова
  22. ^ Владимир Познер: «Арест Ивана Голунова — плевок в лицо всех журналистов России» // meduza.io
  23. ^ Группа ДДТ, Юрий Шевчук: «Свободу Ивану Голунову!»
  24. ^ Официальная страница Земфиры // VK
  25. ^ a b Муратов и Венедиктов решили поручиться за журналиста Голунова // Interfax
  26. ^ Свободу Ивану Голунову!
  27. ^ a b На пикетах в поддержку Голунова задержали журналистов // RBK
  28. ^ Собчак и Канделаки не поверили в журналиста «Медузы» — наркобарона // Daily Storm
  29. ^ БГ выступил в поддержку Ивана Голунова
  30. ^ В деле Ивана Голунова не прекращается реакция // Kommersant
  31. ^ Леонид Парфёнов усомнился в причастности Ивана Голунова к наркотикам
  32. ^ Свобода Ивана Голунова — наша свобода // yavlinsky.ru
  33. ^ Oxxxymiron at the Instagram
  34. ^ Константин Хабенский на открытии «Кинотавра»: сегодня пытаются закрыть неудобного журналиста, завтра неудобным может стать фестиваль // Meduza
  35. ^ Официальная информация // Ministry of Internal Affairs
  36. ^ МВД назвало ошибкой сотрудников главка фото «из квартиры Голунова» // RBK
  37. ^ Журналиста «Медузы» Ивана Голунова отправили под домашний арест // Lenta.ru
  38. ^ Russian Reporter Who Investigates Graft Is Placed on House Arrest // The New York Times
  39. ^ Bennetts, Mark (10 June 2019). "Russian papers join forces in solidarity with detained journalist". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  40. ^ "Навальный опубликовал материал о людях из расследования Голунова". 11 June 2019. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  41. ^ Deutsche Welle. "Навальный рассказал о связях полковника ФСБ и мэрии Москвы" (in Russian). dw.com. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  42. ^ "What Ivan Golunov's ordeal reveals about Russia". The Economist. 13 June 2019.
  43. ^ "Ivan Golunov case: Moscow protest sees hundreds held". BBC News. 12 June 2019. Retrieved 12 June 2019.

External links[edit]