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Journalist from Yakutia detained hours before Putin’s arrival

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Petr Shepelev, a journalist for the 'Honest Yakutia' channel, was detained by police on the afternoon of June 18, a few hours before Putin’s arrival in Yakutsk. The video of the arrest was published by the 'Yakutia.Info' media outlet.

Three police officers detained Petr Shepelev near his house when he was taking out the garbage. One of the policemen had his face covered, while another was in plain clothes. Shepelev was taken to police station No. 4 "for investigation."

Shortly before the arrest, the 'Honest Yakutia' channel posted a video featuring a man in plain clothes waiting outside Shepelev’s house. The channel suggested that the journalist was being followed in light of Putin’s upcoming visit.

Law enforcement officers filed an administrative report for disobeying police. They apparently detained Shepelev to get his explanation about a video concerning an unauthorized rally that took place in Yakutsk during the winter.

The police were presumably referring to the mass gathering on January 24, organized by residents after a local was murdered by a citizen of Tajikistan. It is unclear why law enforcement demanded an explanation from Shepelev five months after the event.

Vladimir Putin arrived in Yakutsk on June 18 to visit the 'Labor Quarter' creative cluster and the Higher School of Music. Several streets were closed to allow the president’s motorcade to pass, leading to residents’ complaints about traffic jams.


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