How I DID NOT Become A Ukrainian Agent in Sochi

Daniel Bootman
2 min readMar 18, 2024


My travel from Germany to World Youth Festival in Russia IS a story to tell

To make it short, my friends drove me Drezden by car and there I took a bus. A ticket to Wraclaw cost me € 22.98 and there a guy agreed, for quite a reasonable price, to give a ride to Kaliningrad where I took a plane to Moscow and then to Adler. This is the airport of Sochi, Russia’s most famous resort city.

My trip went uneventfully, except for the shit that started to happen on the Russian-Polish border. When an officer at the passport control heard, I was going to the Festival, he thoroughly wrote down all my personal details, having specified If I was going to use my phone while in Russia. I only got what he did it for after what happened next

To my surprise, Russia turned out to be clean and friendly and the service at the airports was excellent. In Adler, me and other guests of the Festival were met by special people who took us to the hotel in the Sirius Park and helped us with all our needs.

The prices for many things and services are lower than they are in Europe. The Festival was so awesome, I can’t even express everything that I felt, but I definitely gonna do it later.

However, it is not the point. On the second day, I got a WhatsApp call and a man’s voice asked me in German but with some strange accent if I wanted to make some money. Being very much surprised, I asked him what I had to do, and he told me I would yell a few times about the war Russia had started against Ukraine during some of the events, they would tell me which, and would hold a sign saying the things they would tell me what. The voice promised I would be paid €330. And if things went well, the pay would rise to €450.

When I said no, he started threating me with the “problems” I might get when getting back via Poland, so I returned via Istanbul instead.

So, Polish border guards seem to have colluded with the Ukrainian intelligence to spoil the Festival that has nothing to do with politics. By the way, during all my stay in Russia, I didn’t see a single pro-Ukranian protest, and some of my friends said they also had received such calls.