Kremlin Denies Reports Putin's Aide Had Role In Mistreatment Of Russian Historian

Kremlin Denies Reports Putin's Aide Had Role in Mistreatment of Russian Historian

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 18th February, 2021) The Kremlin believes that a publication claiming that presidential aide Anatoly Seryshev had a role in the legal predicament of historian and activist Yuri Dmitriev, who was sentenced for sexual assault against a minor, does not correspond to reality and contains "a deliberate or unintentional mistake," spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Russia's independent media outlet The Projekt released a report linking Seryshev, who previously headed the Karelian department of the Federal Security Service, to Yuri Dmitriev's legal problems.

"We saw this publication, it's not like that. As for Seryshev and so on - this is all wrong, this is either a deliberate or unintentional mistake," Peskov said.

Dmitriev, a prominent historian specializing in the political repressions in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin, was arrested in 2016 and accused of sexually abusing his minor foster daughter and using her to create child pornography.

He was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison, but later the court extended the punishment to 13 years.

Dmitriev headed the Karelian branch of the Memorial historical and civil rights society, listed by the Russian Ministry of Justice in the register of organizations performing the functions of a foreign agent. According to The Projekt, the case against Dmitriev is politically motivated and could be linked to a list of NKVD (the Soviet interior ministry) officers that Memorial published in 2016. The list included the name of Vasily Mikhailovich Seryshev, who was involved in Stalinist repressions. Journalists suggest that Valdimir Putin's aide Anatoly Seryshev could have been a relative of Vasily Seryshev.