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  2. An environmental activist has emigrated to Germany under the program for Russians with an antiwar position

An environmental activist has emigrated to Germany under the program for Russians with an antiwar position

Anna Stepanova and her family have emigrated to Germany under a streamlined program for the Russians who have raised their voice against the war. This is one of the first cases on record of obtaining this type of visa. The activist reported "7x7" about the news on January 27. Stepanova was active in the protests against a landfill project at the station of Shiyes in 2018-21. 

In August, Anna Stepanova moved to Georgia with her family and pets. Because of multiple anonymous threats, she had to close her grooming studio in the town of Mirny in Arkhangelsk while her pet hotel in Plesetsk burned down. The police had issued three reports on Stepanova for “discrediting the army.” For her social media posts condemning the military operations in Ukraine, the court fined her a total of 60 thousand rubles ($850).

While in Georga, Anna Stepanova has been granted a visa to Germany for people who are in danger of being persecuted by Russian authorities for their antiwar and human rights activism. Stepanova has told "7x7" that the entire family including her son, daughter, and husband, are sheltered in a hostel in the German city of Leverkusen.

This is one of the first cases when Russians with an antiwar position are granted this type of visa. Throughout the application process, Stepanova was assisted by Quarteera, a Berlin-based organization that helps to immigrate activists and LGBT community members. According to Stepanova, there are only two other families from Russia at their place. The other asylum seekers are Ukrainian refugees. 

Anna Stepanova took an active part in protests against building a landfill at Shiyes station on the border of Arkhangelsk Oblast and the Komi Republic. The landfill was planned to serve as a storage place for waste transported from Moscow. The protests had lasted for over a year and a half. Activists had set up a tent camp and organized round-the-clock watch to prevent the construction works to start. At the same time, mass protests were held in several cities of the Arkhangelsk region and the Komi Republic. Eventually, the Technopark company decided not to pursue the plan and promised to clean out the area by the summer of 2021. According to activists, on August 11, 2021, the last construction equipment left Shies.


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