Russia: Natalia Morar's Domodedovo Ordeal

Here's an excerpt from a news alert issued by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) on Feb. 28 regarding the case of the New Times’ journalist Natalia Morar (LJ user natmorar):

[…] A citizen of Moldova, Morar was barred from entering Russia in December on a secret Federal Security Service order and deported to Chisinau. A month later, Russian Embassy officials in Chisinau presented her with a one-paragraph statement that explained her deportation by citing a 1996 law, which says that authorities can refuse entry to foreign nationals “for the purpose of ensuring the defensive capability or security of the state or public order, or protecting the health of the general public.”

Last week, Morar married her colleague Ilya Barabanov, a Russian citizen, and tried to enter Russia yesterday as his spouse. She was denied entry again and placed in the airport’s transit zone. Authorities told Morar she was not allowed to enter Russia but provided no legal documents to justify the detention; they only kept referring to an “order from above.” Barabanov, who is allowed to enter, decided to stay with his wife. […]

Due to Morar's health problems, she and Barabanov (LJ user kotoeb) decided to return to Moldova on March 1.

Below is the translation of Morar's first blog post since her departure from Russia (RUS), published on March 4:

Now this whole story seems totally distant and not about us.
I will not repeat everything – honestly, I don't want to at all…

I'm very tired. For the majority of those who kept trying to pour shit over me all these months, and especially over Ilya and me these past few days, this is nothing but a matter of politics and pseudo-patriotism. “Don't shit where you've been given shelter” and other things like that.

You are talking of politics, you are talking of the state's sovereign right, you are making bold statements – anonymously, however – and meanwhile I cannot comprehend the simplest of things…

I still haven't received an answer from anyone as to why I cannot live in a country that has long become my home. My dearest person and my closest friends are here… I can't understand this at all.

I'll just say this – our marriage with Ilya is not fake, we've been together for a long time. The Domodedovo story was not a staged in advance PR action for the New Times magazine, we were acting on our own behalf, we are two adult people. Many are asking me now why we had to do this show. I won't try to make them change their minds. It was not a show for me. For me, this is the country in which I am not allowed to live. For me, this is the person I'm not allowed to be with. For me, this is the magazine I'm not allowed to work for.

If I had been stronger, I would have stayed at Domodedovo for a month.

I'm feeling better. Mama is feeling worse. We had two anonymous phone calls to our home phone number, with threats against me. Both were placed at night. Both times mama answered the phone. Yesterday we had to call an ambulance to resuscitate her. This I will never forgive. I could've forgiven other things, but this – never.

A huge thank you to all those who were close and who are with me now. There are still more of you than all of them added together.

This post has received 243 reader comments so far.


  • I find it difficult to decide who is the more barbaric — the forces of the Kremlin who carry out this persecution, or the people of Russia who turn their backs as it happens, or even cheer, who “elected” those who occupy the Kremlin to act in their name.

  • Those of us free to publish owe a debt to those who can not. The bullies feel free to act, because too many citizens ignore suppression.
    BTW, this is why the USA ranks 53rd with Tonga on freedom of the press.

  • […] Beitrag erschien zuerst auf Global Voices. Die Übersetzung erfolgte durch Clemens Harten, Teil des “Project Lingua“. Die […]

  • Manuel Kielmannsegge

    the free western world defendes people who destroy all the properties in China regions telling they are abused by a dictatorial governement. I really don,t believe anymore in these western non gubernamental organizations who claim for human rights and similar bullshit. They, as all the western countries, support violence in the name of freedom and human rights and so on.I don,t wonder that Natalia Marar ist not allowed to enter Russia. She is a danger for Russia and she is not Russian citizen. She has to respect Russian lows.She can not decide how must the Russian government act

  • […] 昨年12月、ジャーナリストのナターリア・モラル氏は、ロシアの政府高官が巨額の金をロシア国外へ流出させていたという疑惑についての彼女の一連の記事をロシアの週刊誌が掲載した後、ロシアへの入国を拒否され、本国のモルドバに強制送還された。(モラル氏の苦い経験についてのGV掲載記事はこちら) […]

  • […] كبار في البلد. (مقالة الأصوات العالمية عن معاناة مورار, هنا). الشهر هذا, مورار مرت بتجربة غريبة في مطار أتاتورك […]

  • Dale E. Beemer

    Those of us in an ostensibly ‘free’ society owe Ms. Morar a huge debt. We may not be nearly as free as we tell ourselves we are but, at worst, the government cannot silence us unless we choose to be silent. Those, like Ms. Morar, who have the personal courage to defy a police state are the front line in the world-wide fight for freedom of speech. Those, like myself, who do not face such risks when we exercise our right to speak and write, must rally behind those who take the risk. We are here for you in the only way we know how to be…standing by, listening, raising our voices and showing solidarity.

    It is incumbent upon both the repressive regimes and the world population to remember Ms. Morar’s words…”There are more of you (Morar supporters) then there are of them added together.”

  • Emmane

    You will have a time once your readers be expecting a thing through a person. Let them have something useful or useful to assume about. PremierEssay prices You possibly can uncover elements of your projects to help them to have a ‘taste’ along with determine whether it is suitable to help them to keep.

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