In 2001, Novozhilov was confined to a psychiatric clinic for seven months because of his articles. He continued, however, to write about events in Chechnya, while authorities harrassed and threatened him.
In February 2008, police in Krasnodar again began harrassing Novozilov after he had published an article by Mikhail Kondakov, a political prisoner also confined to a psychiatric clinic, on a Dutch website and made contact with Ukrainian human rights activists.
Novozhilov fled to Poland in 2008. Polish authorities failed to reply to his applications for asylum. Things only changed after Polish human rights defenders and former prime minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki intervened on his behalf.
Yevgeni Novozhilov was born in 1972. He graduated from the Kuban State University; he speaks English, German, and Swedish. Novozhilov has written articles for Kavkaz Center, mouthpiece of the armed militants in North Caucasus, since 2005.