Three Russian journalists critical of the Kremlin have been allegedly poisoned in Germany, the Czech Republic and Georgia in the last twelve months. One of them is Elena Kostyuchenko, special envoy of ‘Novaya Gazeta’ and ‘Meduza’. In October 2022 it was intoxicated in munich. “I don’t have a theory about what has happened, but at least my energy has partially returned, although I can only work three hours in a row, I get tired very quickly,” he explains to EL MUNDO from his exile in a country that he prefers not to reveal. There he prepares the launch of his book in several languages.
think she was poisoned after going into exile in Germany, a place he considered safe for the Russians. “I don’t think it is anymore, in Russia we think that Europe is a paradise, but on the continent political assassinations happen, secret services operate.” His case has coincided in time with that of Irina Babloyan, who worked for ‘Echo of Moscow’ and was poisoned in Tbilisi. And in May of this year, Natalia Arnopresident of the Free Russian Foundation, also presented symptoms of poisoning.
Kostyuchenko is considered one of the bravest journalists in Russia. When the full-scale invasion began, went to Ukraine to cover the war for ‘Novaya Gazeta’. There he documented the war crimes that the Russian army committed against the civilian population.
In the Ukraine he had gone through all kinds of risky situations. She came to cross the front line several times. But it was at the end of March, just before traveling to Mariupol, that he felt the real danger. From her newspaper they alerted her that he was on the radar of the russian government: “They know that you are going to Mariupol and they tell me that the men of [Ramzan] Kadyrov to find you. They are not going to stop you. You are the matar. Everything is already organized.”
The director of ‘Novaya Gazeta’, Dimitri Muratov, gave him direct orders to leave Ukraine and not return to Russia. She decided to move to Germany for a while. There while she managed a new visa to go to Ukraine in the future and her next trip to Iran he started to feel bad: “had sweats”, as well as mental confusion, and “a strong body odor”. One morning she woke up with a sharp pain in her abdomen: “The room seemed to be spinning around me, and I felt more nauseated when I moved. I managed to walk to the bathroom and threw up.” She swelled up her body, there was blood in her urine. The doctors began to freak out with the crazy results of the blood tests.