November 21, 2023

Russia's Youngest Foreign Agent


Russia's Youngest Foreign Agent
Unsplash.

Nineteen-year-old Marat Nikandrov from Pskov, founder of the YouTube channel "stupidmadworld," added himself to Russia’s foreign agent registry. He told Storm that he filled out the questionnaire on the Ministry of Justice’s website “for fun.” As a member of the Libertarian party, he has attended opposition rallies and has never attempted to hide his anti-war position. 

“Basically, I didn’t think it was possible. It was just spontaneous, to be honest. I just entered the passport data, then [my individual insurance account number], also the TIN [taxpayer identification number]. That's it. There really was no more data, no more source of funding, nothing else." Nikandrov said.

The Ministry of Justice did not send a notice to Nikandrov of his registration as a foreign agent. However, the day after his name was officially on the registry, a policeman was stationed outside of his house. Another one appeared, but they both left after a while. Nikandrov said that he didn’t feel any sense of paranoia. Afterwards, he was called to the military registration and enlistment office for “data reconciliation.” He said he does not plan to show up.

However, he does plan on going to Roskomnadzor to address a fine he faces for posting a video from a television channel about Russian journalist Marina Ovsyannikova being tried in absentia. Nikandrov admits that his new status may affect his business’s income, since advertisers may not want to work with a foreign agent.

Nikandrov said the other people he shares the status of foreign agent with includes many other "distinguished" individuals. "Of course I respect them," he said. "Unlike me, of course, they got into the register on merit. And I just decided to make a joke."

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