NewsGerman officials warn against dating app meetups in Russia amid arrest risks

German officials warn against dating app meetups in Russia amid arrest risks

Władimir Putin
Władimir Putin
Images source: © PAP | MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL
5:06 AM EDT, March 30, 2024
The German Federal Foreign Office has issued a cautionary statement about the use of dating apps, particularly urging individuals to be wary if someone they meet online suggests meeting in Russia. The office warns of increased actions by Russian services, highlighting how easily foreigners can find themselves detained or imprisoned.
In light of the worsening situation in Russia, including a rise in arbitrary arrests, the Federal Foreign Office of Germany has intensified its travel advisories. Travelers are strongly advised against visiting Russia, where minor infractions—even a social media post, photo, comment from years past, or merely mentioning the word 'war'—can lead to severe consequences. Any criticism of Putin or the Russian military actions in Ukraine could result in long-term imprisonment.
The department clarifies that its ability to assist in such circumstances has its limits. Contrary to what one might see in movies, the office can't simply extract someone from jail. This highlights the importance of adhering to their travel and safety recommendations when in Russia.
Highlighting concerns over dating apps
Further, the department has raised concerns regarding the use of dating apps. Users of platforms such as Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble are cautioned that new acquaintances could have hidden agendas. Russia, it states, is not the ideal place for a first date.
This warning stems, in part, from instances of several German citizens being detained in Russia under questionable circumstances. For instance, a 38-year-old German was arrested at an airport in St. Petersburg, found in possession of gummy bears infused with marijuana. There's a growing suspicion, supported by reports from "Die Welt," that the Kremlin is seeking to take "hostages" to swap for Russian citizens detained abroad, potentially including in Germany.
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