Nowhere safe – Putin’s henchmen pursue critics as far as Armenia

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Since the beginning of the great war of aggression against Ukraine and the partial mobilization at the initiative of the Kremlin, many Russians have fled abroad. In doing so, they opposed the regime in Moscow and the idea of ​​patriotism it had instilled, according to which you should kill for your homeland. But now many of them no longer feel safe anywhere.

Even two years later, many Russians cannot describe what February 24, 2022 (the beginning of the war in Ukraine, note) felt for them. An opponent of the regime who lives in Vienna today says that on that day all hopes that the country would finally “get its act together” and that everything would be fine were dashed. For him there was a Russia before the war in Ukraine and a very sad war after it.

He told krone.at that the center of his life is now in Vienna. satisfying. However, many Russians did not make it to Western Europe – they now live in the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Georgia. But as is now becoming increasingly clear, they cannot feel safe there.

In recent weeks, Russians who criticized Putin have been prosecuted in Armenia, the international organization Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly warns. Refugees from the warlike country told human rights activists that they openly followed men in Russian military uniforms to their new addresses and were interested in how they live in their current homeland.

During their missions, they drove around in an unregistered car with an Armenian license plate, which was “intended solely for operational intelligence operations.” According to activists, such surveillance requires the consent of the Public Prosecution Service or other law enforcement agencies. The Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly also claims that it is not just the Russians who are being persecuted; Armenians who have a critical view of Putin and his policies are also increasingly coming into the picture.

Refugee extradited to Russia
In general, the mood has been tense since Dmitry Setrakov was arrested in Armenia by Russian military police last December. The man left the army in April and left Russia in November because he did not want to fight in Ukraine. After his arrest, the fugitive was extradited to Russia.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan was angry about this and called the actions of Russian security forces in the country illegal. It is still unclear where Setrakov is and whether he is even alive.

Setrakov’s wife told the online portal “Kholod” that under no circumstances did she condemn her husband for his decision to leave Russia and that she supported him: “He is not a warrior, he is a kind-hearted person. He is not one of those people who can kill people and who are simply unfazed by the deaths of comrades.”

Source: Krone

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