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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Saint Lucia Breaks Records in Tourism Arrivals, highlights Tourism Minister

The island of Saint Lucia continues to break records in tourism arrivals and rivalling all the best records till date. Saint Lucia has witnessed a significant rise of 42% in arrival of visitors in the month of June, 2024.

Russian Missile Attacks in Southern Ukraine Kill Two

Russian attacks have claimed the lives of two people in the southern Kherson region on Friday, following a significant acknowledgment by Kyiv regarding the destruction of its positions on the left bank of the Dnipro River

Moscow Court Orders Shutdown of Iconic Grushinsky Music Festival

The court’s ruling comes after the festival’s organizers announced the cancellation of this year’s event, citing “possible risks… in the current circumstances.” The announcement was made on VKontakte, a Russian social media platform, where the organizers expressed their regret over the decision

Black Market Database Lists Russians Who Left Country Post-Ukraine Invasion

WorldRussiaBlack Market Database Lists Russians Who Left Country Post-Ukraine Invasion

In a startling revelation, independent investigative news outlet Agentstvo has uncovered a black-market database listing Russians who departed the country following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Reported on Sunday, the database encompasses individuals who were absent for more than two months between 2022 and 2024, citing reasons such as the invasion itself, a “partial” mobilization in September 2022, and the mutiny of the Wagner mercenary group in June 2023.

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Agentstvo, while withholding the name of the database provider, disclosed that leaked airline databases were used to compile the list. Notably, the database accounts for emigrants who departed by various means including air travel, sea crossings, and overland routes.

The ethical implications of accessing such stolen data, often referred to as “probiv” in Russian, are contentious. Investigative journalists defend their use by asserting that uncovering clandestine activities, particularly those of alleged Russian security personnel, serves the public interest.

Agentstvo independently verified the presence of 10 individuals from the list who left Russia and either did not return or returned after more than two months. Additionally, the outlet investigated two individuals who returned within the two-month timeframe but were not included in the database.

Concerns have been raised about the potential misuse of this database by state authorities for repressive measures. Agentstvo pointed to previous incidents, such as the 2021 mass layoffs of state employees identified through leaked databases related to Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s supporters, as precedent.

According to estimates, between 700,000 to 1.5 million Russians have left the country since the 2022 invasion. Reasons cited for emigration range from opposition to the war, economic anxieties, to a desire to avoid military conscription.

The compilation of this database, believed to have been completed within the last three months, underscores ongoing concerns about privacy violations and state surveillance in Russia. The potential implications for individuals listed, including their safety and freedom from state scrutiny, remain a subject of significant apprehension.

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As international scrutiny intensifies over Russia’s domestic policies and human rights record, revelations such as these continue to highlight the challenges faced by journalists and human rights advocates in accessing information vital to public awareness and accountability.

Authorities in Russia have not yet commented on the existence or contents of the database, nor on the allegations regarding its potential use for punitive measures against emigrants.

Agentstvo has indicated its intention to continue investigating the database and its implications, emphasizing the importance of transparency and accountability in handling sensitive personal data in the public interest.

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