- Sergey Boyko/YouTube
- An opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin used a drone to fly his hard drives to safety shortly before police raided his high-rise apartment on Thursday.
- Sergey Boyko, a mayoral candidate from Novosibirsk, posted a video to YouTube of him operating his drone out of a window while police amassed outside his door.
- The Kremlin raided some 200 homes and offices, across 41 cities, belonging to associates of prominent Putin critic Alexei Navalny and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FKB).
- The Kremlin opened a money-laundering investigation into the FKB on the same day pro-Putin candidates lost ground in nationwide elections.
- Navalny said Putin is “upset and is stomping his feet” after the election losses.
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A critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin used a drone to fly his hard drives out of his high-rise apartment shortly before police raided his home.
A video posted to YouTube shows Sergey Boyko operating the drone as police try to enter his apartment in the city of Novosibirsk, Siberia, to confiscate his electronics around 10 a.m. Thursday local time.
Boyko is an ally of Alexei Navalny, Putin’s most vehement critic whose Anti-Corruption Foundation (FKB) was placed under investigation for money laundering on Sunday. He came third in the mayoral race in Novosibirsk last Sunday.
The video shows Boyko remotely flying the drone out of his window – it’s too far to see what it’s carrying – before putting down the controller in the kitchen.
He then answers his front door, where loud banging can be heard.
“Some people are pushing the door to the apartment,” Boyko tweeted on Thursday morning, around the same time the video was taken.
Boyko’s apartment was one of 200 houses and offices linked to Navalny’s foundation across 41 cities on Thursday, according to Navalny.
The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation – Russia’s federal anti-corruption agency – warned last Sunday: “Searches are being carried out at a number of FBK employees’ residences, the organization’s office, and other locations.”
The raids on FBK-linked venues led to “a dozen laptops, hard drives, flash drives, phones, bank cards, and even smart watches” being taken, with some staff members having their bank accounts blocked since, according to a statement posted to Boyko’s website.
On Friday, Boyko wrote on Russian social-media site VK that his brother Vadim’s house was raided at 7 a.m. that morning, even though “he is not involved in politics and yesterday’s drone didn’t fly to him.”
Boyko did not say where the drone or his hard drives went.
The raids on Navalny’s allies came on the same day pro-Putin candidates lost ground in nationwide elections last Sunday.
The party won a vast majority across the rest of Russia, however, according to Reuters.