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Norway arrests son of Putin confidant over drone flight
Norway's infrastructure appears to be increasingly scouted by Russia. Now police have arrested Andrei Yakunin, the son of a powerful Putin loyalist, for a drone operation.
19.10.2022, 8.14 pm
Norwegian police have arrested a son of Vladimir Yakunin, a former Russian railway chief and Putin confidant, for unauthorised drone flights over Svalbard. Andrei Yakunin was arrested in Hammerfest in northern Norway, according to the police. Earlier, Norwegian media had reported the arrest of a 47-year-old man.
Jakunin, a Russian-British citizen, admitted to illegally piloting a drone over the Norwegian archipelago of Spitsbergen in the Arctic, a police representative said. Yakunin is in pre-trial detention, and drones and other electronic equipment have been seized, they said.
This is the seventh arrest of Russian citizens within a few days. They are accused of illegally using unmanned aerial vehicles or taking unauthorised photographs in Norway, which borders Russia and is now Europe's largest gas supplier.
Speaking about more drone flights near Norwegian airports, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Störe told broadcaster NRK: "It's unacceptable that foreign intelligence services let drones fly over Norwegian airports." The Russians do not have the right to let drones fly over Norway, he added.
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Drone causes disruption at Bergen airport
A few hours earlier, the flight of a drone near Bergen airport in the west of the country caused a brief disruption to air traffic. Like other Western countries, Norway has imposed an overflight ban on Russians in response to the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. Violators face up to three years in prison.
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