Wednesday, September 19, 2018 offices raided by investigators

The Yekaterinburg offices of the news website were raided by masked investigators on Thursday.

Editor-in-chief Aksana Panova called the raids retribution for the site's critical coverage of the authorities, though police say they were investigating the embezzlement of more than $320,000 from's bank account, the Moscow Times reports.

"We are being searched. All journalists have been blockaded in the second floor of our office," Panova said on her Facebook page, the Moscow Times reports. "We don't know what they are looking for."

The raid was confirmed on Twitter by employee Daria Vasiltsev, who wrote, "Guys! We are being searched! People are locked up on the second floor. Not allowed to call and write. Please retweet!" according to the Moscow Times.

Panova said that the raid was in relation to articles written by the agency about Sverdlovsk Governor Yevgeny Kuivashev, Deputy Prosecutor General Yury Ponomaryov and General Mikhail Borodin.

Valery Gorely of the regional police said that the raid was related to a criminal investigation of large-scale fraud. He said it had nothing to do with the media staff's creative activities and that it concerned financial fraud. is the most popular news site in the Sverdlovsk region.