August 29, 2023

29.08.2023 – Concerns Grow Over Alleged Poisoning of Russian Dissident Journalist Abroad

The South East Europe Media Oragnisation (SEEMO) is worried about safety of Russian journalists abroad. According to several sources, Elena Kostyuchenko (Елена Костюченко), a former reporter from Novaya Gazeta (Новаја газета) ( and Irina Babloyan (Ирина Арамовна Баблоян), who worked as radio host for Ekho Moskvy (Эхо Москвы) reported they were poisoned. Both cases of alleged poisonings happened in October 2022.

The Russian investigative news outlet The Insider ( reported about both cases on 15 August this year.

The case of Elena Kostyuchenko alleged have occurred on 17 October 2022 during a train journey to Munich, as she was applying for a visa to cover the conflict in Ukraine for the independent news outlet Meduza ( In a recent article published on the Meduza webportal on 15 August this year (, Kostyuchenko described how all happened.

Irina Babloyan, born 1986, reported that she was poisoned in Tbilisi, Georgia. As she reported her problems started on 25 October 2022.

SEEMO is asking the German and Georgian authorities to continue to investigate both cases and to protect the journalists.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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