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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pribylovsky's Apartment Searched

Political analyst Vladimir Pribylovsky said Friday that law enforcement officials had searched his apartment and carted off computers that contained draft chapters of two books he was writing about President Vladimir Putin.

Pribylovsky, who heads the Panorama think tank, said he was told that the seizures Thursday were part of an investigation into the unsolved slaying of a former senior official of the Federal Security Service.

But Pribylovsky said he suspected officials were really interested in finding out what he planned to publish about Putin.

"I believe that they wanted to read what I was writing," he said.

The Moscow prosecutor's office declined to comment.

Pribylovsky said he had previously written about the killing of Colonel-General Anatoly Trofimov, a former deputy head of the Federal Security Service shot in 2005 by a masked gunman outside his Moscow home. The author said he agreed to remove some materials relating to the case from his web site three months ago at the request of officials.

The working titles for the books are "Putin's Comrades," and "Operation Successor," said Pribylovsky, who was working on the second book with Yury Felshtinsky, a historian and author living in the United States.

Felshtinsky said Pribylovsky's computers contained "a huge volume of information" on ranking government officials. "There is a lot of very interesting and important information which might be lost because they could drag on the investigation, any investigation, for some years now, and the idea was to publish the book before the election," he said.

Felshtinsky co-authored a book, "Blowing Up Russia," with Alexander Litvinenko, who died in a London hospital in November after being poisoned with polonium-210. After Litvinenko's death, Felshtinsky said, he and Pribylovsky continued to collaborate on "Operation Successor," parts of which have been published in various periodicals. But the two halted all direct contact out of concern for Pribylovsky's safety.