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Russian Embassy in Canada refused to admit a Russian national because she follows a pro-Navalny Facebook page

Source: Sirena

The Russian Embassy in Ottawa refused to receive Russian national Elena Pushkareva, who lives in Canada, because she subscribes to a Facebook group called “For the beautiful Russia of the future.” The Facebook group takes its name from the phrase “beautiful Russia of the future,” which jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny and his team often use. Pushkareva reported the incident with the Russian Embassy to the Navalny team’s publication, Sirena.

Pushkareva was scheduled for a visit with the embassy’s consular department. Not long before the appointment, a member of Russia’s diplomatic mission to Canada called her, and said that the ambassador had decided not to receive her.

An embassy representative said the reason for the refusal was the Facebook group “Forces for good of Ottawa and Winnipeg for the beautiful Russia of the future,” where, allegedly, materials “calling for violent actions to damage the interests of the Russian Federation” are posted.

When Pushkareva went to the embassy to clear up the situation, a guard wouldn’t let her into the building, telling her over the intercom that she was a “security threat to the Russian foreign mission.”

Sirena reports Russians living in Canada started a private group and the public page in question, both on Facebook, in 2021. Users discuss politics, including mobilization in Russia and the invasion of Ukraine, as well as actions to support political prisoners, including Alexey Navalny. The public page has 77 followers. Pushkareva says it has never published calls to violence.

Pushkareva claims that in October 2022, another member of the group ran into trouble with the embassy, where he was told “We know you, we’re watching you, we know what you do.”

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