Among those unable to enter are Project journalist Katya Arenina, Pussy Riot activist Nika Nikulshina, and Mediazona editorial manager Gala Latygovskaya.
The border guards in the case of Arenina, Nikulshina and Latygovskaya did not substantiate refusals to enter Georgia. As Arenina told the Agency, she was deployed at the border on November 14. The officers issued a refusal of entry, where the justification column indicated “other reasons”.
“I handed over my passport, the employee saw something on her computer and at first she was just silent for about 10 minutes.”
According to Arenina, about 40 minutes later, another border guard approached her and issued a notice of a ban on entry. “He said: “Ekaterina, we refuse you entry to Georgia. Our conversation is being recorded – I can’t explain anything else to you.”
Pussy Riot activist Nika Nikulshina was not allowed into Georgia on the morning of November 1. “I was kept at the border for about two hours,” Nikulshina told the Agency. Naturally, the border guards did not verbally substantiate this in any way, but in the document that they gave me, there is a checkmark in the Other column – as I understand it, everyone has it. At the same time, Nikulshina has a lease agreement in Georgia for six months in advance, concluded with the same landlord from whom she rented an apartment earlier.
Gala Latygovskaya, who flew to Georgia on November 2, told the publication that she had not received any notification from the border guards at all.
“They didn’t tell me anything. 50 minutes waiting [на погранконтроле]. A man ran up to me and asked what flight I had taken. I said Turkish Airlines. He started up and said: “So, faster, faster, faster, you will fly back now!”
Russians began to face mass refusals when trying to cross the Georgian border in late summer – early autumn. Several dozen Russians a day were deployed at the border. By mid-October, there were fewer refusals, especially for those who were forced to leave Russia because of the threat of politically motivated persecution.
Georgia became one of the main destinations for Russian migration after February 24. Many journalists, lawyers and political activists moved here, fearing for their safety. After the announcement of mobilization, more than 700,000 Russians crossed the border with Georgia, of which about 100,000 remained in the country.