Russian writer and oppositionist Dmitry Bykov detained at Georgian border
Dmitry Bykov not allowed into Georgia
Update: Dmitry Bykov was allowed to enter Georgia after a delay of several hours
Russian writer and dissident Dmitry Bykov, a consistent opponent of the Putin regime, was not allowed into Georgia. According to Formula TV, border guards took his documents and he has been at the border checkpoint at Batumi airport for four hours.
“They haven’t told us anything, they won’t let us into the city, they won’t even give us our luggage. No explanation was given, they said wait. I can’t understand what the problem is,” Bykov says.
Dmitry Bykov has been an opponent of Vladimir Putin’s regime for many years and lives in exile. He takes a clear stance against the war in Ukraine, and opposed the 2008 war. Bykov has never violated the occupation law and has never been to Abkhazia.
“I have never been to Abkhazia, I have always opposed the war, in the August 2008 war I took an unambiguous position. Probably Putin’s people are trying to interfere with my speeches in Georgia. I don’t quite understand why,” Bykov said.
- Most Russian companies registered in Georgia after February
- Majority of foreigners entering Georgia still Russian
The writer Lasha Bugadze reacted to Bykov’s situation on Facebook:
“The well-known anti-Putin writer (declared by Putin a foreign agent) Dmitry Bykov is not allowed into Georgia, he has been at the Batumi airport for more than four hours, his passport was taken away and nothing was explained to him. He and his wife and two-year-old son… They didn’t even give him water. This is a great shame – Bykov is a patriot of Georgia, he has never violated the law on occupation.”
In recent months, many Kremlin critics from Russia and elsewhere have been denied entry to Georgia without explanation.
On September 5 Vasily Krestyaninov, a Russian photojournalist and Kremlin critic, was not allowed into Georgia.
On July 20, Russian blogger Alexei Romanov was not allowed to enter the country at a checkpoint in Sadakhlo on the border with Armenia.
On June 16, Georgia did not let Kabardino-Balkarian blogger Insu Lander through the border, against whom criminal prosecution continues in Russia.
When Lander tried to cross the border she was detained by Georgian border guards and interrogated for two hours. Then she was given a document which stated she was not allowed across “for other reasons.”
On March 5, Mikhail Fishman, a journalist from the Russian opposition television company Dozhd, spoke of his unsuccessful trip to Georgia. He was also not allowed to enter the country, being turned back at Tbilisi International Airport. No explanation was given.
On January 31, Russian oppositionist Dmitry Gudkov was not allowed into Georgia. Prior to this, Russian politician Lyubov Sobol and journalist Ilya Azar, as well as Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Gordon, were not allowed into Georgia.
David Frenkel, a journalist from the Russian independent activist media group Mediazona, was also expelled from Georgia.
In addition, several representatives of Russian opposition parties who are not actively involved in Georgia, whose names are not known to the general public, were not allowed into Georgia and without explanation. Neither law enforcement agencies nor the government of Georgia have given any comment on this matter.