i>Novaya Gazeta, though it publishes only twice a week with a press run of 8,600 copies, is one of Russia’s feistier newspapers. It challenged the Kremlin line on the apartment bombings in September 1999 that were blamed on Chechen terrorists. It has regularly featured articles on high-level corruption in the security services and the Prosecutor General’s Office. The deputy general director–the number two–at the paper is Valery Shirayev, a former Federal Security Service employee who apparently has sources in the organization.

Agents of the chief military prosecutor searched Shirayev’s apartment on April 25. They took his computer “for analysis.” The search, said a spokesman, is part of the investigation into Vladimir Gusinsky’s Media-Most company, for which Shirayev had also worked as a security officer. Masked commandos with automatic weapons raided Media-Most’s security department a year ago and claimed to find transcripts of illegal wiretaps. That investigation has never been closed.