Sergey Boyko said that hard drives were sent to a friend of his via a drone when police invaded his house at 10:00 local time on September 12, 2019, to avoid them getting hold of data. It wasn’t the first raid to happen as a part of a nationwide crackdown on the opposition. The Russian activist loaded the data onto the drone and stealthily smuggled it away before the police could arrive.

After the ruling party suffered major losses in local elections in Moscow, there were around 200 raids carried out. Furthermore, there was a video taken by a female companion showing Mr. Boyko, who lives in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, releasing a drone from his flat in a tall apartment block as police wait to be let in.

The drone was loaded with various hard disks, solid-state drives and flash sticks containing “very important” information that he did not want the police to get a hold of, as stated by the Russian activist. “Done. The evacuation has been carried out. The drone reached its destination,” he says at one point. The organization’s headquarters in Novosibirsk were also searched. The day after Mr. Boyko’s successful data evacuation, his house was raided again.

After Mr.Bokyo refused to let them in before obtaining proof of their authority, the video showed the police breaking in the house. However, later on, after some negotiation, he let them in. Not only this but the computers and phones were also confiscated, and some activists’ bank accounts were frozen while opposition volunteers were taken away for questioning.