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Russia has placed a new distinguished professor at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York on a wanted list, the Associated Press reported.

Masha Gessen, a Russian American author and New Yorker staff writer who joined CUNY this fall, faces charges of spreading falsehoods about Russia’s army. The AP reported that, according to Russian media, a criminal case against Gessen started over an interview posted on YouTube in September 2022, in which Gessen and another reporter discussed Russian atrocities in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

The Newmark J-school released a statement Monday defending Gessen. The school said Russian authorities issued an arrest warrant for them Friday.

“Nearly 250 Russian citizens have been charged under a law passed last year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that criminalized criticism of the military,” the statement says. “Those convicted have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to nine years. Gessen, who is in the United States, expects to be tried in absentia.”

Graciela Mochkofsky, dean of the school, said in the statement, “We categorically reject the criminal investigation of Professor Gessen, and call on Russian authorities to suspend it. The legal harassment of such a prominent and eminent journalist who has been honored for their coverage of Russia is part of a systematic effort to silence critics of the Putin regime both inside and outside the country. We stand firmly with Professor Gessen, as a member of our community. We also recognize their persecution is part of the broader effort to stifle independent journalism.”