Russia's intelligence services have 'stepped up' their war on free media, carrying out a series of operations designed to intimidate journalists in the wake of Vladimir Putin's controversial referendum victory last week. In an unprecedented case for post-Soviet Russia, prominent defence reporter Ivan Safronov was seized outside his home on Tuesday morning by secret service agents and arrested on suspicion of treason. Citing the secret nature of the case, the investigators have not published any evidence to back up their claims but the reporter faces 20 years in prison. Last week’s overwhelming approval of constitutional amendments allowing Vladimir Putin to stay in office at least until 2036 was hailed by the Kremlin as a “triumph.” But results at the polling stations that were monitored by independent observers indicated something resembling a split vote. That was an apparent cue for Russia’s FSB secret service to take action.