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  • Ivan Golunov was arested on drug charges which he claimed to be fake.

    Ivan Golunov was arested on drug charges which he claimed to be fake. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 June 2019

Vladimir Putin fired two police officers for arresting Russian journalist Ivan Golunov whose case has been dropped.

Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday fired two police generals involved in a discredited criminal case against a journalist, an episode that sparked mass protests in Moscow the previous day, the Kremlin said.

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"Police Major General Yuri Devyatkin, the chief of the Drug Control Department of the Moscow police force and Police Major General Andrei Puchkov, the chief of Moscow’s western administrative district police force, are hereby dismissed," the decree reads.

The police force started a criminal case against Ivan Golunov, an investigative reporter of Meduza news website. Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said Tuesday that the charges against the reporter had been dropped "for a lack of evidence proving his involvement."

Gulonov has been released from prison. The interior ministry sent the details of the internal investigation to the Russian Investigative Committee to assess the legitimacy of the actions by the police officers.

Russian journalist Golunov was arrested in Moscow June 6, charged with illegal drug possession. He was found carrying four grams of mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant drug while five grams of cocaine were found in his house, according to the police. The journalist and his supporters said the drugs had been planted in order to detain him.

The case "is to be analyzed, and, most importantly, there will be the findings of the investigation that will be carried out and that is being carried out by the Investigative Committee. This case resonated with people and made everyone pay attention to it," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists.

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