Russian activist Vitaly Votanovsky has reportedly fled Russia and started “life anew” after reports that authorities opened an investigation into his activities. The charges include “discrediting” the Russian military and working with an “undesirable” organization, potentially landing him five years in prison.
Votanovsky is most well known for publishing information regarding Wagner burial sites. By identifying the burial sites, he revealed information about the type of fighters Wagner had in their company for several major battles. He has been previously charged with administrative fines for similar activities.
Votanovsky has been critical of the war since the beginning, with his travels into Ukraine being key for exposing what occurs in the aftermath of victorious Russian battles. The Russian government censors information that they deem damaging to the morale of the soldiers and the general public, to include hiding the loss of friends and family from the general public. Part of Votanovsky’s role has been to discover the identities of some of these soldiers and inform their families.
Although he has fled, he has vowed to return to Russia after a “regime change.” His current position is supposedly somewhere in Armenia, where he states he is trying to gain political asylum with a European Union state, specifically Germany.