Russia expels De Volkskrant correspondent

Russian authorities have refused to renew the residency status of De Volkskrant correspondent Tom Vennink and given him three days to leave the country. They are accusing him of not registering in time with the immigration authorities in 2019 and of entering the restricted-access region of Chukotka in 2020 without permission.

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De Telegraaf (NL) /

Journalism on eggshells

This expulsion fits in with the overall picture we are seeing of Russia at the moment, notes the Russia correspondent of De Telegraaf, Mischa van Diepen:

“Journalists in Russia are almost as vulnerable to repression as allies of the imprisoned opposition leader Alexey Navalny. As ever more independent journalists are being branded as 'foreign agents', they are forced to walk on eggshells in Russia. And now that criminal proceedings have become the order of the day, a growing number of journalists and even entire editorial teams are moving to other European countries.”

Ria Nowosti (RU) /

Spreading fake news and breaking the rules

The De Volkskrant correspondent was practically begging to get expelled, says Ria Novosti:

“It was his article about poor Muscovites being forced to eat rats because of Russian counter-sanctions against European food products that grabbed the most attention. ... He devoted countless articles to openly discrediting the Sputnik vaccine. ... Yet no one bothered him. Our foreign ministry confined itself to issuing statements countering De Volkskrant's biggest fake news. Vennink was denied the extension of his visa and his accreditation on the grounds that he had repeatedly committed administrative offences and been punished for them. The former correspondent does not even deny this, but he describes the offences as 'minor'.”