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Putin loyalist and former Olympic pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva moves to NATO country

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Yelena Isinbayeva, a former pole vaulter and two-time Olympic gold medalist for Russia, has moved to the NATO country of Spain, according to a report by El Digital Sur. She is currently based in Tenerife.

In 2012, Isinbayeva became an authorized representative for Vladimir Putin in Russia’s presidential election. In November 2017, she joined the “Putin Team” movement. In January 2020, Isinbayeva was included in Russia's Constitutional amendment working group. The “new” Constitution, approved on July 1, 2020, “zeroed out” Putin’s previous terms as President of Russia, and allowed him to stay in power until 2036.

In February 2023, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Isinbayeva was included in Ukraine's sanctions list targeting “representatives of the Russian sphere of sport who are trying to put sport in the service of aggression.” Isinbayeva holds the military rank of Major in the Russian Armed Forces, following a lengthy career at CSKA Moscow – the Central Sports Army Club.

Isinbayeva is also listed in the Ukrainian Myrotvorets (“Peacemaker”) database. Myrotvorets is a website that publishes a running list of people who are considered by the authors of the website to be “enemies of Ukraine,” or, as the website itself states — “whose actions have signs of crimes against the national security of Ukraine, peace, human security, and the international law.”

According to the website, Isinbayeva has “knowingly violated the State Border of Ukraine in order to enter Crimea captured by Russian occupiers,” “taken part in Russia’s propaganda activities against Ukraine,” and “[taken part] in attempts to legalize the occupation of Crimea by Russia.”

Yelena Isinbayeva was promoted to the rank of Major by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in 2015
Yelena Isinbayeva was promoted to the rank of Major by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in 2015

Multiple family members of Russian government figures, Putin supporters, and individuals directly involved in the invasion of Ukraine, are known to possess citizenship, residence permits and property in Western countries.

A notable example is propagandist Sergei Brilev, who holds UK citizenship. Brilev’s wife owns a flat in Chiswick, west London, bought for £700,000 in March 2016. Television news anchor Yekaterina Andreeva, who works at state-run Channel One and is known to many as the face of primetime Russian news, has been a citizen of Montenegro since 2011. Elena Kaminskas (Shebunova), the former mistress and mother of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's children, previously exposed as the centerpiece of a massive corruption scheme by The Insider, held a Lithuanian residence permit until 2022.

Yesterday, a Popular Politics correspondent questioned Czech President Petr Pavel regarding the absence of sanctions on the family of Russian rocket manufacturer Boris Obnosov, which owns property in Prague. Pavel responded by stating that the Czech Republic does not have sufficient legal grounds to confiscate their property or expel them from the country.

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