Russia adds popular sci-fi writer to its wanted list

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An Interior Ministry officer closes the gate, with Red Square and St. Basil's Cathedral seen in the background, in central Moscow, Russia, November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

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June 7 (Reuters) - Russia on Tuesday placed Dmitry Glukhovsky, a popular science fiction writer, on its wanted list after accusing him of spreading false information about its military intervention in Ukraine.

In a post on the Telegram messaging app, Glukhovsky wrote that he stood accused of discrediting Russia's armed forces in an Instagram post.

"I am ready to repeat everything said there: "Stop the war! Admit that this is a war against an entire nation and stop it!" he wrote.

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The Interior Ministry's website listed Glukhovsky, best known for the "Metro 2033" sci-fi novel and its sequels, as wanted under an unspecified article of the criminal code.

Russia has already targeted opposition figures and journalists with a law seeking jail terms of up to 15 years for those convicted of intentionally spreading "fake" news about Russia's military.

Glukhovsky is the first major cultural figure to be put on the wanted list due to the new law, adopted days after Russia sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24.

The case against Glukhovsky, who has been outspoken on social media about Moscow's military campaign, prompted indignation among Russian opposition figures.

"Putin used to fear politicians, but now he fears writers too," Lyubov Sobol, an ally of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, wrote on Twitter.

The team of another jailed opposition activist, Andrei Pivovarov, wrote on Twitter in response to Glukhovsky's addition to the wanted list: "The repression machine will roll everyone over."

Moscow says its "special military operation" is designed to demilitarise Ukraine and protect its Russian-speakers from persecution.

Ukraine and Western countries have dismissed these claims as baseless pretexts for a land grab that has killed thousands and displaced millions.

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Reporting by Reuters; editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Tomasz Janowski

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