Norwegian police have detained Andrey Yakunin, the son of the former head of Russian Railways, for launching a drone in the Svalbard archipelago. According to VIYM, Yakunin Jr. used a drone during a trip to Svalbard in late August because he has “hobbies of nature, photography and extreme sports.” Andrey Yakunin is a British citizen and is cooperating fully with the Norwegian authorities to provide all the necessary information, the company added.


Railway Supply magazine writes about this with reference to the Cyprus Daily News.

The judge of the Finnmark West District Court approved the arrest of “the son of one of Vladimir Putin’s closest associates” for two weeks. The man’s name was not mentioned in the publication. But the investigator told the publication that the detainee has Russian and British citizenship, he was detained on October 17 in the city of Hammerfest in northern Norway. The police seized drones and electronic devices: its content is of great importance for the case, the investigator said.

The defendant stated in court that he should be considered as a citizen of Great Britain, and he named Italy as his place of permanent residence. The yacht Yakunin was on had sailed around Svalbard and along the coastline of Norway for several months since the summer. The defendant’s lawyer said that the yacht had its own crew, and his client was simply on board when the boat was near Svalbard. According to the lawyer, Yakunin acknowledged the launch of the drone, but did not know that he was violating the law by doing so.

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Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. It belongs to Norway, but is a demilitarized zone and has a special status, according to which more than 50 states parties to the treaty have equal rights to exploit the resources and territorial waters of the archipelago. Russia has its own settlements on Spitsbergen – the villages of Barentsburg and Pyramiden.

Last week in Norway, police detained six Russians for filming the locations of the country critical infrastructure, which is prohibited by local law.

Andrei Yakunin’s father, Vladimir Yakunin, headed Russian Railways from 2005 to 2015. In 2014, he came under US sanctions. But this did not prevent the sons of the former head of Russian Railways from gaining a foothold in Europe. Andrei received British citizenship, his brother Victor has a Cypriot passport in his pocket.

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