The Liberation of Ivan Golunov Felt Like a Burst of Freedom in Russia, But Not For Long squib

Vladimir Gerdo/Getty

MOSCOW—The day the Interior Ministry decided to close the criminal investigation against journalist Ivan Golunov of the independent Meduza news organization  will be remembered as a moment of freedom for every Russian.

Police had detained Golunov on drug charges last week and he was facing more than 10 years in prison, but thanks to unprecedented journalistic solidarity, the authorities had to step back and admit that the reporter was framed.  

On the day policemen were dragging terrified Golunov around Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin was meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum. Golunov’s investigators apparently had no idea that their criminal actions were spoiling both Russia’s and Putin’s reputation.

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