Yet another reporter was prevented by the Russian authorities from covering the hostage crisis in Beslan, according to an October 11 article in the English-language Moscow Times. Yuri Bagrov, an indigenous journalist who has covered the Caucasus for the Associated Press and Radio Liberty, had his passport confiscated by the Federal Security Service (FSB) in late August—shortly before Chechnya’s rigged presidential election. Since then he has been essentially housebound, unable to travel outside Vladikavkaz in North Ossetia.
A native of Georgia, Bagrov has lived in Vladikavkaz since 1992 and has a Russian wife and Russian mother. The authorities are nevertheless accusing him of having obtained his Russian passport illegally. He told the Moscow Times that FSB officers subjected his apartment to a detailed search on August 25. “They went through everything,” he said. “They even searched through my dirty laundry. They ended up confiscating lots of things, including all of my articles, my dictaphone, video and audio cassettes, home computer, birth certificate and university diploma. They even took my wife’s personal diary” as well as his passport.