Russia drops charges against investigative reporter after backlash

Russian authorities have dropped a criminal case against investigative reporter Ivan Golunov, according to state media, after a fierce backlash that appeared to catch the Kremlin off guard.

Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev said the case was dropped because of lack of evidence, the Russian state-run news agency TASS reported Tuesday. According to the report, Golunov will be released from home arrest Tuesday.

Golunov, a leading investigative journalist known for reports on official corruption, was detained Thursday in Moscow on drugs charges his supporters said were fabricated.

His arrest prompted an outpouring of journalistic solidarity which appeared to take authorities by surprise. Over the weekend, reporters took turns staging solo protests, lining up to hold placards outside the Moscow branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

This is a developing story.