Russian border guards detained 29.ru’s journalist Yaroslav Varenik for seven hours before his trip to Estonia. They thought he was a "cultist" because of his appearance, and found out that Varenik had been a witness in a criminal case on embezzlement from the FBK*. When he was released, the hotel cancelled the journalist's reservation, so he was not allowed into the country. Varenik told 7x7 about this.
Journalist Yaroslav Varenik from Arkhangelsk was detained by Russian border guards for seven hours; as a result, he could not go to Estonia on vacation. They asked him about his attitude towards the special operation in Ukraine and Alexei Navalny, because Varenik was a witness in a criminal case on embezzlement from the FBK*. Yaroslav Varenik was an activist of Navalny's headquarters* in 2017–2018. Due to the detention, the journalist missed the bus, and the hotel canceled his reservation. As a result, Varenik was not allowed into Estonia and his EU visa was cancelled.
The border guards thought the journalist was a "cultist" because of his dark clothes, long hair, and a pendant in the shape of Thor’s hammer. They checked his social networks and read the correspondence in a messenger, asked him which rallies he had covered. According to the journalist, the border guards asked him if he had made sacrifices and what he thought about Satanists.
In the spring, Arkhangelsk activists were searched in a criminal case on participation in an extremist community, the Anti-Corruption Foundation*. Olga Shkolina is being a suspect in the case and under travel restrictions. Other activists from Arkhangelsk were also searched, including SOTA’s journalist Darya Poryadina. After that, she left Russia.