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As of Feb. 24, 2023, based on the publications and updates by OVD-Info, ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project (successor to the Memorial Human Rights Center), and other sources; roughly in chronological order of imprisonment

On the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine by the Putin dictatorship, our Association is releasing a directory of 116 individuals that are currently imprisoned or held under house arrest by Russian authorities for their antiwar actions. Our publication is based on the websites and periodic updates of Russia’s human rights organizations but also includes many people who have been jailed for alleged acts of violence (such as attempts to set army conscription stations on fire) and therefore are not recognized by these organizations as political prisoners. This list is not comprehensive, and in many of the reported cases the name of the defendant has not been made public. Inclusion in this directory should not be interpreted as our endorsement of any particular type of antiwar activism in Russia.


Igor Maltsev (aka Egor Skorokhodov; St. Petersburg), 23

     On 6 March 2022, the last day of the Russian Orthodox Shrovetide, Igor Maltsev and Sofya Semenova brought an effigy in camouflage with a bag over its head to the ice of a river in St. Petersburg and burned it. A video of the action was posted online, followed by an appeal to “take the soldiers and bodies back to Russia”. Within days, Maltsev and Semyonova were detained and charged with ‘hooliganism motivated by political hatred’ and ‘committed by a group with prior collusion’. Semyonova was released under certain restrictions and left the country. Maltsev was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months in prison. He has been recognized as a political prisoner by the ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Alexey Gorinov, 61 (Moscow)

     Born in Moscow, Alexey is a geographer and a lawyer by training. He worked as a researcher and educator and has been a small business owner. He served as a local elected official in Moscow in 1990-93 and took part in the defense of the Russian parliament against the botched hardline coup in August 1991. He is a member of the Solidarity movement, co-founded by the late Boris Nemtsov, whose current leadership also includes Ilya Yashin and Vladimir Kara-Murza. In 2017, he was elected, for a 5-year term, to Moscow’s Krasnoselsky district council.  On March 15, at a council session, Gorinov made a motion to hold a minute of silence “in memory of the victims of aggression in Ukraine” which was supported unanimously. He also stated that “all the efforts of civil society should aim at stopping the war and pulling Russian troops out of Ukraine”. He was detained on April 26; on July 8, he was found guilty of ‘publicly and knowingly spreading false information on the use of Russia’s armed forces, being motivated by political hatred or hostility’ and sentenced to 7 years in penal colony (reduced in September to 6 years 11 months by appeals court). In December it became known that Gorinov was being denied medical treatment in prison. Soon, he was transferred to a hospital at a neighboring prison. Gorinov is recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Altan Ochirov, 41 (Elista, Republic of Kalmykia)

     Ochirov is an opposition activist who participated in election monitoring efforts. In March of 2022, he was fired from the local university for his antiwar online posts but managed to find a job at the mayor’s office. He allegedly used his workplace equipment to make antiwar posts in a Telegram channel that he reportedly administered. He was detained on April 13th in the mayor’s office, in a violent manner that was broadcast on social media and caused protests by local human rights defenders. Ochirov was charged with ‘spreading false information as part of a group about the use of Russia’s armed forces … while being motivated by hatred’, by allegedly publishing an anti-war Telegram channel that had less than 600 subscribers. He pleaded not guilty, and his defense stated that he had not been in charge of the channel by the time of his arrest. Ochirov stated that he was a pacifist and that he was charged under a “totalitarian” article of the criminal code. On Oct. 18, he was sentenced to 3 years in a prison colony, with prohibition on working in civil service for another 3 years. The prosecution appealed his sentencing as too lenient; in December 2022, the appeals court increased his term of imprisonment to 5 years. Ochirov has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Ilya Yashin, 39 (Moscow)

     Born in Moscow, and a political scientist by training, Yashin has been a prominent participant of Russia’s democratic movement for the past 20 years. In 2005, he spent two weeks in Belarusian jail for his participation in protests against the Lukashenka regime.  In 2006-08, he co-chaired the youth section of the Yabloko Party. In 2012, he was elected by opposition activists and supporters to the Coordinating Council that represented a significant part of the opposition to Putin; Yashin ranked 5th by the number of votes gained. In 2012-16, he was deputy chair of the PARNAS Party (Party of People’s Freedom) that was co-founded by Boris Nemtsov. Yashin collaborated closely with Nemtsov, notably in co-authoring a report about the Kremlin’s ‘hybrid’ war in East Ukraine. He is also a co-founder (along with Nemtsov and Garry Kasparov) of the Solidarity movement and a member of its main governing body which also includes Vladimir Kara-Murza. In 2017-22, he was, along with Gorinov, elected member of Moscow’s Krasnoselsky district council and its chair until his resignation in 2021. Yashin has tried to run for a seat in Moscow city legislature and for the mayor’s office, but in 2021 he was banned by court from running for elected office for 3 years, due to his involvement with Alexey Navalny’s movement which had been branded as ‘extremist’ by the Kremlin. In June 2022, immediately after serving a 15-day arrest for allegedly disobeying police, Yashin was charged with ‘spreading false information’ about the army, with aggravating ‘motivation of political hatred’. The charge stemmed from his YouTube broadcast in April about the Bucha massacre. In July, Russia’s ministry of justice placed him on its «foreign agents» list, and his bank accounts were frozen. On Dec. 9, he was sentenced to 8.5 years in penal colony. In his closing remarks, Yashin addressed Vladimir Putin directly: “Mr. Putin! As you look at the consequences of this monstrous war, you probably realize what a big mistake you made on February 24. No one is greeting our army with flowers. We are called invaders and occupiers. Your name is now firmly associated with death and destruction. You have brought terrible misfortune to the Ukrainian people, who will probably never forgive us. But you’re not only at war with the Ukrainians. You’re at war with your own people. You send hundreds of thousands of Russians into a combat inferno, and many of them will never come home. They will turn to dust. Many more will be disabled or lose their minds from what they saw and felt. … Hundreds of thousands of Russians are leaving their home country because they don’t want to kill or be killed. Those people are running from you … Did you forget that this kind of policy leads our country to disintegration? Although my words might sound like a voice crying in the desert, I’m urging you, Mr. Putin, to stop this madness immediately. You must admit that your policies regarding Ukraine have been an error. You must get the Russian troops out of Ukraine and start working on a diplomatic resolution of this conflict.” Yashin has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Vladimir Rumyantsev, 62 (Vologda)

     Rumyantsev is a gas equipment operator and repairman who also worked at brick and machine-building factories, drove a bus, and operated a boiler room. He also ran a homemade amateur radio station. Rumyantsev was a democratic activist since late 1980s and a longtime opposition supporter; he took part in local rallies in support of Navalny. After the start of the war, he was fined twice for ‘disparaging the army’, for a total of 60,000 RUB. On July 14, he was detained and charged with ‘publicly spreading false information about the use of the Russian army abroad, while being motivated by political and ideological hatred’. These charges are based on Rumyantsev’s posts in VKontakte made between March and June 2022, including six videos stating that Russian soldiers in Ukraine were “pillaging, killing, and raping civilians, destroying hospitals, maternity clinics, schools, and kindergartens” (as quoted in the court ruling), as well as on his radio broadcasts about civilian casualties in Ukraine. On Dec. 22, a court in Vologda found him guilty and sentenced him to 3 years in penal colony. Rumyantsev pleaded not guilty and stated his negative views of Putin and the war. He has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Lev Lerman, 66 (Nizhni Novgorod)

     Lerman, a native of Nizhni Novgorod (formerly Gorky), is an engineer, inventor, and longtime labor and environmental activist. In August 1991 he took part in the local resistance to the failed hardline coup. Since the first days of the invasion, Lerman was denouncing it in his online posts.  In early March, police and agents from the governmental “anti-extremist center” searched his home, showing particular interest in his Facebook posts, according to his wife. Lerman was detained and sentenced by court to 10 days in jail for violating the rules of participating in a protest. While he was serving this term, a second search was conducted at his home, and police allegedly found unlicensed gun ammunition. Lerman was immediately placed in pre-trial detention. In October 2022, he was sentenced to 4 years of prison colony on charges of illegal possession of ammunition. In December, his sentence was upheld on appeal. His wife was compelled to leave Russia.

Andrey Biryukov, 35 (Voronezh)

     Biryukov, who in the past administered a website about the war in Ukraine, was detained on July 28 and placed in custody.  He was charged with ‘public justification of terrorism and calls to extremist activities’, on the basis of his posts in VKontakte, including his supportive comments about Nadezhda Belova, another resident of Voronezh who was prosecuted for ‘public justification of terrorism’. According to Biryukov’s mother, in reality he was most likely prosecuted because of his posts about the war in Ukraine. According to his attorney, Biryukov’s relatives were not allowed to visit him and he was not allowed to call them until he pleaded guilty and started cooperating with the investigation – which he eventually did. On November 9, he was sentenced to three and a half years in penal colony and was also prohibited from administering websites for two years.

Mikhail Shendakov (Krasnogorsk, Moscow)

     Shendakov is a retired colonel and online blogger. In 2021, he was tried and given a suspended term of imprisonment for allegedly inciting hatred and violence against FSB employees in his video about Russia’s intervention in Donbas. In October 2022, he was fined 30,000 RUB for his antiwar posts online. In January 2023, he was detained, and the court changed his suspended term from 2021 sentencing to actual 2.5-year imprisonment.

Vladislav Nikitenko, 53 (Blagoveshchensk and/or Ivanovka village, Amur Region)

     Nikitenko is a lawyer, a journalist, and anti-corruption campaigner. In 2017, he was found guilty and sentenced to 6 years in penal colony for alleged contempt of court, slandering a judge and fighting with a police officer. He was released from colony in December 2021. In the first day of the invasion, Nikitenko penned official complaints to Russia’s investigative committee and the prosecutor-general against Vladimir Putin and members of his Security Council, urging these agencies to investigate them for violations of several articles of Russia’s criminal code, including the prohibition of unleashing an aggressive war, prohibition on inciting such a war, using prohibited methods of warfare, genocide, and act of international terrorism. Nikitenko himself was soon charged with making 10 antiwar social media posts that ‘repeatedly disparaged the Russian military’ and was fined 45,000 RUB. In May, after spending nearly two months in pre-trial detention, he was released by court and placed under house arrest and other restrictions; in July, however, he was returned to the detention center because of having allegedly used his cell phone and thus violated the restrictions imposed on him by court. In September, he went on a hunger strike in protest against the court decision to extend his detention. On January 31, 2023, Nikitenko was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment. He has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.


Vladimir Kara-Murza, 40 (Moscow)

     Kara-Murza, a graduate of Cambridge University and a historian by training, is one of the leaders of Russia’s democratic opposition and a contributing writer at The Washington Post. He also worked as correspondent and anchor for BBC, RTVi, Kommersant, Ekho Moskvy, and other outlets. He was a close collaborator of Boris Nemtsov. Kara-Murza ran for the Duma and served as deputy leader of the People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS), founded by Nemtsov. He played a key role in the adoption of the Sergei Magnitsky Act. He was the founding chairman of the Nemtsov Foundation and served as vice president at Open Russia and the Free Russia Foundation. Kara-Murza is a senior advisor at Human Rights First and a senior fellow at the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights; and has been a visiting fellow at the University of Chicago, leading a seminar course on contemporary Russia. Twice, in 2015 and 2017, Kara-Murza was poisoned and left in a coma; subsequent investigation by Bellingcat and The Insider identified FSB officers who were behind the poisonings. He has directed three documentary films: They Chose Freedom; Nemtsov; and My Duty to Not Stay Silent; and is the author of Reform or Revolution: The Quest for Responsible Government in the First Russian State Duma. Kara-Murza is a recipient of several awards, including the Sakharov Prize for Journalism as an Act of Conscience, the Magnitsky Human Rights Award, and the Geneva Summit Courage Award. He is married, with three children. Kara-Murza was detained in Moscow in April 2022 and initially placed under 15-day arrest for allegedly disobeying police. Immediately afterwards he was charged with ‘disseminating, being driven by political hatred, knowingly false information … including information about the targeting of social infrastructure facilities by Russia’s armed forces when bombing residential areas…” The charge against him is based on his remarks at the session of Arizona House of Representatives. He was also placed on the ministry of justice’ «foreign agent» list. In July 2022, another criminal case was opened against him for participating in activities of an “undesirable organization” (in connection with a conference in support of Russia’s political prisoners that he hosted in October 2022, allegedly with the financial support of the Free Russia Foundation. Further, in October 2022, a third criminal case was opened against him, on charges of ‘high treason’; these charges are based on his remarks in various foreign audiences about the illegitimacy of Russia’s “elections” and the suppression of dissent. In December 2022, investigators prohibited him from talking to his children, claiming that these conversations “might threaten their investigative work”. In February 2023, his pre-trial detention was extended until March 12. Kara-Murza is recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Sergey Vedel (aka Sergey Klokov, Samiel Vedel), 38 (Moscow)

     Reserve control point technician at the capital’s main Ministry of Internal Affairs directorate. He was placed in a pre-trial detention center on the 18th of March. According to lawyer Daniil Berman, the prosecution’s ruling of the case states that Klokov disseminated false information during a telephone conversation, not publicly. Later it became known Later it became known that, according to case materials, Klokov told his colleagues and friends over the phone that Russia has evacuated wounded military men to Belarus and understates the numbers of casualties. He also is claimed to have stated that Russian military men killed civilians and that Ukraine is, in fact, not «run by Nazis.» Additionally, he was allegedly planning to organize a phone conversation between his Russian colleagues and an acquaintance from Kyiv. Security forces informed Berman that Klokov declined the lawyer’s services. However, later Klokov signed an agreement with Berman. On August 10, the court returned the case to the prosecutor’s office, but later the case returned to the court. ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project has recognized Vedel as a political prisoner.

Aleksandr Nozdrinov, 37 (Novokubansk, Krasnodar Region)

     Nozdrinov is a war veteran, a YouTube blogger, and a longtime public critic of local law enforcement agencies. On March 27, 2022, his house was searched by police who also reportedly beat him up. He was initially placed under arrest for allegedly disobeying them and later was charged with ‘disparaging the military’. The charges are based on his publications on his Telegram channel about the bombings of Kyiv (one of his posts contained a photo of a ruined building with the caption ‘Ukrainian cities after the arrival of their liberators’). Nozdrinov has stayed behind the bars since March while his case is awaiting trial. Nozdrinov is a father of 3 minor children. Nozdrinov is recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Alberto Enrique Giraldo Saray, 40 (Moscow)

     Saray is a citizen of Colombia who used to be engaged in tourism business. He has lived in Russia for two decades and has two children, one of them a minor. He has been charged by the Russian authorities with being part of a group that ‘disseminated false information’ about the Russian military. State prosecutors claim that he “created bot farms to spread fake reports about Russia’s military operation in Ukraine on US instructions in the spring of 2022” and “mass mailing of fake messages for a monetary reward”, “in the interests of a foreign organization” allegedly associated with USAID. They further claim that he “conspired with persons that managed his actions from abroad to provide technical support and secretly install mobile devices in one of Moscow’s malls”. These devices facilitated “the remotely controlled mass mailing by unidentified persons of knowingly false information concerning the actions of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine, including the information about murders of civilians”, to Russian cell phone users. Saray has been in pre-trial detention since Apr. 2022; it has recently been extended to July 26, while his trial is going to be closed to the public, allegedly at the defendant’s request. ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project has recognized Saray as a political prisoner (noting, among other circumstances of the case, that some of Saray’s Facebook posts were in fact pro-Russian and critical of Ukraine).

Aleksandra Skochilenko, 32 (St. Petersburg)

     Skochilenko is an artist. She was detained on April 11, 2022, 11 days after she allegedly replaced price tags at a local supermarket with anti-war flyers referencing the number of civilian casualties as a result of Russia’s shelling of the Mariupol Drama Theater. Skochilenko was charged with “disseminating false information about the Russian military under the influence of political hatred”. She has been kept in pre-trial detention in spite of the public campaigns to release her due to her medical conditions causing special dietary needs. She also complained of bullying by her cellmates. ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project recognizes her as a political prisoner.

Mikhail Afanasyev, 46 (Abakan, Republic of Khakassia)

     Afanasyev is editor-in-chief of Novy Fokus, a local periodical, and author of many investigative reports, as well as an activist of the Yabloko Party. He was previously awarded the Andrei Sakharov Prize for Journalism-As-Action and was the first foreign recipient of the Swedish Publicists’ Association’s award for freedom of expression; he was also repeatedly harassed by security services as a result of his publications. On April 4, 2022, he published an article about 11 local riot police officers who refused to be deployed to Ukraine to participate in the war. On April 15, after a search at his and his mother’s homes, Afanasyev was charged with ‘disseminating apriori false information about the Russian army, aggravated by the use of one’ official position’, i.e. that of the publication’s editor. In November, the court remanded his case to the prosecution due to missing information about the date and location of Afanasyev’s actions that served as the basis for the charge. However, Afanasyev has remained in detention. ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project has recognized him as a political prisoner.

Sergey Mikhailov, 46 (Gorno-Altaisk, Altai Republic)

     Mikhailov is the former member of the Altai Republic legislature, former head of the local branch of the People’s Freedom (PARNAS) Party founded by Boris Nemtsov, and, since 1999, the founder and publisher of LIStok, an opposition newspaper which is reportedly the largest-circulation periodical in the republic. LIStok’s website was blocked by Russia’s media monitoring agency in 2016. Since the start of the invasion it published many articles about the war, including about the murders of civilians in Mariupol and Bucha, in which it accused the Russian army of war crimes. On April 13, 2022, Mikhailov was detained in a suburb of Moscow where he had been living recently, and charged with ‘spreading apriori false information about the Russian military under the influence of political hatred’. Mikhailov has been in detention ever since and has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Richard Rouz, 37 (Kirov)

     Richard and Maria Rouz are husband and wife known for their activism and participation in anti-Putin protests, including the major nationwide protest organized by Alexey Navalny’s team in 2018 under the slogan “He is not our tsar!” In 2021, Richard was summoned for interrogation to the local ‘anti-extremist center’ of Russia’s interior ministry. On April 14, 2022, the couple was detained and charged with ‘public dissemination of apriori false information about the Russian military under the influence of political hatred’; the charges are based on their posts of photos and videos about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, including photos from the site of the Bucha massacre. Maria Rouz was subsequently released under certain restrictions upon her activities.  Richard has been reportedly pressured to plead guilty, under threats that his wife would be returned to the detention center, and their minor son would be taken to an orphanage. In December, Richard was additionally charged with ‘public justification of terrorism’, in connection with his other statements regarding the war. In his court statements and letters to a friend, Richard has complained of being beaten by security and threatened with more physical violence. He has been reportedly deprived of the right to correspondence. Meanwhile his wife has left Russia. ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project has recognized Richard Rouz as a political prisoner.

Bulat Shumekov, 31 (Kiselevsk, Kemerovo Region)

     Before the war, Shumekov was repeatedly prosecuted for participation in protest rallies. On April 15, 2022, he was detained and sent to custody.  According to local media, he had made online posts about the Russian military committing war crimes and murdering civilians. He has been charged with ‘disseminating apriori false information about the Russian armed forces, under the influence of hatred’. He has been in pre-trial detention ever since and has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Dmitry Ivanov, 23 (Moscow)

     Ivanov is a student at the Moscow State University (MSU) and the creator of the Telegram channel «MSU Protests». In May 2022, he was found guilty of ‘repeat violations of the rules for holding public rallies’ and sentenced to a 25-day arrest. June 2, on the last day of his arrest, he was detained again and charged with ‘dissemination, under the influence of hatred, of apriori false reports about Russia’s armed forces’. Charges against him are based on his posts about Russian military attacks on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, about the shelling of a hospital in Mariupol, about the dispersal of rally in the occupied Kherson, about Russian air forces losses in the war, about the crimes committed in Bucha and Irpen, a repost of Zelensky’s address to the residents of Donbas, and a post in which Ivanov called the war its name rather than ‘special operation’. After a court hearing held in January 2023, it was reported that Ivanov was beaten up by one of the escorting officers. Ivanov is defended by an OVD-Info attorney. He has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Olga Smirnova, 54 (St. Petersburg)

     Olga Smirnova is an artist and a participant of St. Petersburg’s Peaceful Resistance group. She was detained on May 5, 2022, following a search at her home and the homes of five other activists and has remained in pre-trial detention ever since. Smirnova was charged on the basis of seven posts made by her group in early March on VKontakte, including posts about the shelling of Mariupol. She was also charged for organizing an antiwar protest on March 6. In October, the court remanded her case back to the prosecutor but in December it was brought again to the court. About the same time another criminal case was file against her, with charges of ‘destroying items that belong to cultural heritage’. Smirnova has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Viktoria Petrova, 29 (St. Petersburg)

     Petrova has graduated in management from the St. Petersburg State University and has worked in marketing. She says she does not view herself as an activist. Since the start of the invasion, she took part in several antiwar protests in the city. On May 6, 2022, she was detained after a search in her apartment and was charged with ‘disseminating, under the influence of political hatred, apriori false information about the Russian armed forces’. The charge against her stems from her posts in VKontakte in which she reportedly accused Putin and his entourage of causing civilian deaths and genocide. Petrova is being held in a pre-trial detention and has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Fr. Ioann (Dmitri) Kurmoyarov, 55 (St. Petersburg)

     Kurmoyarov is a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. He previously lived in Ukraine but several years ago was prosecuted there for displaying St. George’s Ribbon which is considered Russia’s semi-official military symbol. He then moved to Russia, obtained Russian citizenship, and was teaching theology at the Novosibirsk Seminary.  In 2020, he was fired from that job for his critique of Russia’s semi-official Orthodox Church. Since the start of the invasion, he openly criticized it; on April 1, he was deprived of his clergy rank by the authorities of the Russian Orthodox Church, after which he switched from it to the semi-autonomous Russian Orthodox Church Abroad (which is now also largely based inside Russia). In June 2022, a criminal case was initiated against him for ‘spreading false reports’ about the Russian military; the charges against him are based on his online video that he published in March, in which he stated that Russian soldiers killed during the invasion of Ukraine were going to hell and not to heaven. Kurmoyarov, who has been in pre-trial detention since then, has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Oleg Belousov, 55 (St. Petersburg)

     Belousov is an amateur underground digger. In April, he reportedly made comments in a local diggers’ online forum, in which he accused the Russian military in Ukraine of committing war crimes, “raping and pillaging”. Even though his comments were immediately deleted by the moderators of the group, one of the group members later reported him to the authorities. Belousov was detained on June 27, 2022, after a search at his home. In October, he was additionally charged with ‘inciting extremism’ by his social media posts, specifically a post in which he accused Vladimir Putin of war crimes.  Belousov has been recognized as a political prisoner by the ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project and is being defended by OVD-Info attorney.

Dmitry Talantov, 52 (Zavialovo, Republic of Udmurtia)

     Talantov is a lawyer and former president of the Bar Association of Udmurtia. He was one of the defense attorneys for journalist Ivan Safronov who was recently sentenced to 22 years of imprisonment for ‘high treason’, in a case that has been widely viewed as politically motivated. Since the start of the invasion, Talantov made multiple antiwar posts online, in one of which he accused the Russian military in Ukraine of “extreme Nazi practices”. He was detained in Izhevsk, the capital of Udmurtia, on June 28, 2022, and charged with ‘spreading, under the influence of political hatred, apriori false information’ about the Russian army. In September, additional charges were filed against him, including charges of ‘inciting hatred’ by his Facebook posts. In January 2023, Talantov had been removed from his position as president of the Bar Association of Udmurtia. He has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Vsevolod Korolyov, 35 (St. Petersburg)

     Korolyov is a documentary filmmaker and an activist who was previously involved with the local election monitoring efforts. Since the start of the invasion, he frequently denounced it on social media, attended the court trials of those charged with antiwar activities, collected donations for them, and made documentary films about Aleksandra Skochilenko and Maria Ponomarenko. He was detained on July 12, 2022, after a search in his apartment, and was charged with ‘spreading apriori false information about Russian military’. Charges against him are based on his posts made in March and April in VKontakte about the Russian military violence against civilians in Bucha, Borodyanka, and other locations. ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project has recognized Korolyov as a political prisoner.

Evgeny Bestuzhev, 62 (St. Petersburg)

     Bestuzhev is a member of the Solidarity political committee (a Saint Petersburg political movement). He has been charged with “openly disseminating, while driven by political hatred, deliberately false information about the use of the Russian armed forces”. In detention since Nov. 9, 2022; in February, his detention was extended by court until March 14. He is represented by an OVD-Info defense lawyer.

Maria Ponomarenko, 44 (Barnaul, Altai Region)

     Ponomarenko is a journalist with RusNews as well as an activist and a mother of two young children. She also administered a Telegram channel called “No to censorship”.  On March 17, 2022, she made a post in that channel about the Russian strike on the Mariupol Drama Theater and its civilian casualties. On April 23, she was detained in Saint Petersburg and charged with ‘disseminating false reports about the Russian military’. Since late April, she has been behind bars. In September, she reportedly attempted suicide, after which she was moved to an isolation cell and in November released from pre-trial detention to stay under house arrest. In January 2023, after a domestic conflict, the court moved her back to detention center. She is represented by an OVD-Info attorney. ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project has recognized her as a political prisoner.

Askhabali (Askhab, Askhat) Alibekov, 51 (Novorossiisk, Krasnodar Region)

    Alibekov is a popular blogger known as ‘Wild Paratrooper’, which is also the name of his YouTube channel. He is a former paratrooper who participated in the Chechnya war and a former commander of a regiment of Russia’s Black See Fleet.  Alibekov first clashed with the authorities in 2007, after an act of police violence against Chechen students in the city of Stavropol in which one of them died; he then urged an investigation and for charges to be brought against police, whom he accused of being in cahoots with neo-Nazi skinheads; instead, he ended up serving a jail term for ‘offending representatives of the authorities’. He gained fame in 2018, after publishing his video address to Putin, charging him with concealing the real number of Russian casualties in the then-unofficial Russian military intervention in East Ukraine. After the publication of this video, Alibekov was fired from the navy and had his prior suspended sentence in an unrelated case replaced with a real term of three years in penal colony. On his video channel, he urged paratroopers to refuse serving Putin and encouraged others to join rallies in support of Alexey Navalny. In July 2022, he was fined 50,000 RUB for ‘disparaging the Russian army’ by posting a video of a solo antiwar protest at the city main square. On Sept. 9, Alibekov was detained and charged with ‘repeat offense of spreading false information about the military’. He reportedly refused to put on an electronic bracelet to track his movements as a condition of his curfew and as a result was placed in pre-trial detention. ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project has recognized him as a political prisoner.

Alexey Nechushkin (Moscow)

     According to investigators, on February 27, 2022, Nechushkin intentionally drove a car onto the sidewalk on Pushkin Square, damaging the metal fence and then set fire to the car interior. A video of the incident appeared on social media, in which messages such as «people, stand up!» and «this is a war» were visible on the car. He has been in pre-trial detention since March 1.

Nikolai Daineko, 26 (Moscow)   Artyom Kamardin, 31 (Moscow)   Egor Shtovba (Moscow)

     Daineko, Kamardin, and Shtovba are participants of the ‘Mayakovsky readings’, a poetry reading performance held monthly next to Vladimir Mayakovsky’s monument at Moscow’s Mayakovsky Square. Its organizers declared that the readings on Sept. 25 would be explicitly directed against the military mobilization. Daineko and Shtovba were detained during the event and charged with ‘taking part in unauthorized public action’. The next day, court fined each of them 20,000 RUB, after which they were immediately detained again. On the same day, police also visited Artyom Kamardin, a poet and another participant of the readings; according to his attorney, during the search he was beaten to the point of a concussion, whereby emergency ambulance had to be called, and was also reportedly tortured with elements of sexual violence; the two other residents of his apartment were beaten as well. He was also forced to apologize on camera for the poem that he had read at the square. On Sept. 28, Dayneko, Shtovba, and Kamardin were charged with ‘inciting hatred with a threat of violence’, allegedly against the militaries of the Donetsk and Luhansk self-proclaimed republics; all three were placed in pre-trial detention. Charges against them stemmed from the poems they read on Sept. 25. All three are in pre-trial detention and have been recognized as political prisoners by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project. Daineko is defended by an OVD-Info attorney.

Vitaly Barinov (Krasnoyarsk)

     According to the investigators, on October 15 he fired from a weapon into a promotional banner recruiting for military service which was hanging on Moscow St. in the city of Kansk (Krasnoyarsk region). The next day he was placed under arrest and remanded into custody by court ruling. In the ruling, the court said that Barinov was “accused of committing a crime out of political convictions, having to do with the military action between the Russian Federation and Ukraine.” He was later taken to Krasnoyarsk pre-trial detention facility.

Igor Pokusin 60, (Abakan, Republic of Khakassia)

     Pokusin is the leader of a local protest group named “How Much More (Dokole)” that was created to be the voice of victims of police abuse. According to investigators, he painted over a message on a banner that supported the Russian army. The banner was located at the intersection of Katanov and Pushkin streets. He additionally wrote an antiwar message on the facade of the Hakkas National Museum of Regional History, where previously a screen had been installed featuring letter Z. This letter is a symbol of support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He admitted his guilt and signed an agreement not to leave the city. On July 24, Pokusin was arrested at the airport in Krasnoyarsk while he was on his way to Astana. His wife told “Current Time” that after his arrest Pokusin had a plastic bag put over his head and was threatened with electric shocks. He was then placed under house arrest. On December 7, Pokusin received a 6 month suspended sentence. The next day he was arrested again and placed in pre-trial detention for a charge of attempted state treason.

Faik Khandzhigazov, 28; Anton Zavadsky, 28 (both from Tula)

     According to the charges against them, they wrote antiwar messages in the entrances of four apartment buildings. At first it was reported that they were taken to a pre-trial detention center. However, information has appeared that they are under house arrest.

Alexey Arbuzenko (Togliatti, Samara region), 46

     According to investigators, over the course of several weeks Arbuzenko spilled paint and wrote messages on three banners bearing images of Russian soldiers. The CHP Samara Telegram channel published a video where a man, stammering, tells that in June and July, on Voroshilova, Dzerzhinskogo and Revolyutsionnaya streets, he «committed acts of vandalism» against «posters with images of Russian army personnel that accomplished feats on the territory of Ukraine, ” that he regrets his actions and asks forgiveness of those whose feelings were hurt. He is under arrest. At first, a case was opened for vandalism motivated by political hatred, but later charges were added for discrediting the use of the military leading to destruction of property and for involving a minor in a crime committed by a group and motivated by political, ideological, racial, national, or religious hatred. The report of the Investigative Committee regional department states that the case also involves a 15-year-old minor. The case is currently being processed in court.

Aleksandr Snezhkov, 19, and Lyubov Lizunova, 16 (Chita, Trans-Baikal Region)

     They were detained on October 31 for graffiti saying “Death to the regime”. Law enforcement officers then looked into the Telegram channels “75zlo” and “Shugan-25,” run by Snezhkov and Lizunova, primarily posts that expressed support for lighting fire to military enlistment offices. Snezhkov and Lizunova were also charged with calls to extremism and the public glorification of terrorism. Searches were conducted in the anarchists’ apartments; they signed an agreement not to leave the city. In January 2023, Lizunova was arrested in Irkutsk and Snezhkov in Omsk, supposedly for violating their agreement not to leave the city. After this Snezhkov was placed in a pre-trial detention centre in Omsk while Lizunova was placed under house arrest.

Stanislav Shmakov, 25;

Kirill Dudarkov; Polina Plotnikova (all three from Tomsk)

     Stanislav Shmakov is an activist of the antiwar Yabloko Party, ex-candidate to the local legislature and legislative staffer in city council. All three were detained on Jan. 11, 2023, and placed under house arrest. They are being charged with having destroyed pro-war banners reading “Everything for the frontline”. Shmakov, whom the prosecution has presented as the leader of an organized group, reportedly pleaded guilty.

Stanislav Semenyuk, 34 (Vsevolozhsk, Leningrad region)

     According to investigators, he set fire to a flag with the letter Z hanging in the Yubileynoye-Ruchi gardening community. He has been detained.

Elena Tardasova-Yun (Novosibirsk)

     Adherent to the ideology of the “Citizens of the USSR” movement, 51. According to her passport, her surname is Yun. She was detained after a search. The reason for initiating the case was a repost of a WhatsApp message about a memorial service in the village of Mashkovo for a soldier who had died in Ukraine in a public group on Vkontakte. The author of the original message wrote that a thousand coffins had arrived in Novosibirsk. Tardasova-Yun was released after signing an agreement not to leave. However, she denied that any precautionary measure was enforced. On August 3rd, she was detained in Prokopyevsk (Kemerovo region) and transferred to Novosibirsk for interrogation. The following day contact with her was lost. On August 5th, information appeared that the court banned Tardasova-Yun from certain actions as a precautionary measure. The case is currently in the court. On December 26, Tardasova-Yun was placed in pretrial detention because she had supposedly posted two videos on her social media page, thereby violating the pretrial restrictions banning her from engaging in certain activities. Her lawyer said that at the time of the posts her pretrial restrictions had already expired–they were imposed for the duration of the investigation, and the investigation had already concluded. She is represented by OVD-Info defense attorney.

Ruslan Ganeev (Naberezhnye Chelny, Republic of Tatarstan)

     Ganeev is a web designer. The case against him was launched because of the two comments on VKontakte made in March. In the first, he stated that “according to NATO intelligence, the Russian army is beginning to retreat from Kyiv”, and in the second expressed his opinion about the number of killed civilians and soldiers in Ukraine. Ganeev did not show up in court in response to the summons and was detained on Dec. 6, 2022. Ganeev has been recognized as political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Mikhail Simonov, 62(Moscow)

     On March 19 and 20, Simonov made two posts in VKontakte about the bombing of Kyiv and Mariupol by the Russian army. He was soon charged with ‘publicly disseminating, under the influence of political hatred, apriori false information’ about Russia’s military’. Prosecutors further found his posts to reflect a ‘dismissive, unfriendly and aggressively hostile attitude towards government authorities’, ‘disapproving of their actions to stabilize the socio-political situation on Ukrainian territory’. Simonov is in pre-trial detention and has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Alexander Martynov, Lyudmila Razumova (Konakovo, Tver Region)

     According to investigators, they «posted on their pages in one of the social networks, openly available to other users, videos containing knowingly false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to destroy cities and civilians in Ukraine.» These were obtained from unofficial Russian sources. They were arrested. Later they were also charged with vandalism. According to investigators, using paint and stencils they «desecrated buildings and other structures, ” as well as «damaged property» in the villages of Mokshino, Varaksino, Teshilovo, Mirny and Novozavidovsky. In particular, they wrote “Ukraine, forgive us” on the back wall of a shop called “Konfetka” (“Candy”). The couple has been recognized as political prisoners by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project and is represented by OVD-Info lawyers.

Alexey Onoshkin, 32 (Nizhni Novgorod)

     Onoshkin is a blogger, traveler, political activist, and priest at the Temple of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. On April 28th, he was detained and forcibly admitted to a psychiatric hospital. The reason for this was a citizen’s statement about the activist’s suicidal tendencies due to a video in which he said that the Russian authorities were driving him to suicide. On July 21, Onoshkin was released from the hospital. On August 12, it became known that a criminal case was opened concerning «fake news.» The activist has not confirmed this. On August 16th, his home was searched and he was detained as a suspect. The following day, the court placed Onoshkin in pre-trial detention because of a post on social media network vk.com about the shelling of the Mariupol theater. On October 3rd, the court sent Onoshkin back to the psychiatric hospital because of his mental disorder until the investigation is completed. In November, information surfaced that Onoshkin was also prosecuted for ‘public justification of terrorism’. ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project has recognized him as a political prisoner.

Pavel Drozdov, 40 (Vorkuta, Komi Republic)

     According to investigators, he created a group in a messenger with at least 28 members. There he posted 2 videos that allegedly «consisted knowingly false information» about the Russian army. The website of the republican Investigative Committee also states that Drozdov posted comments with «false information» in public groups on the Internet. Apart from that, he is charged with illegal sale of drugs. He is in custody. On November 9th, the court found Drozdov guilty of selling drugs, while returning the case on disseminating “fakes” to the prosecutors, having found that the indictment needed to be revised. Specifically, they wrote that Drozdov adheres to pacifist views, but the charge said he disseminated false information motivated by hatred toward soldiers.

Valery Kotovich (Rostov-on-Don, Rostov Region)

     Kotovich is a colonel of Russia’s national guard who was in charge of supply operations. He has been charged with ‘spreading apriori false information about the Russian armed forces taking advantage of his official position and being motivated by hatred’. He is currently in custody. ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project has recognized Kotovich as a political prisoner.

Maksim Rachkov, 33 (Rostov-on-Don, Rostov Region)

     Rachkov has worked as head of electromagnetic lab at the Moscow Institute of Engineering and Physics. At the beginning of the war, Rachkov left Russia but he later came back. The criminal case against him was opened after his return to the country, in April 2022, in connection with a post on Vkontakte containing a video depicting the Russian military violently dispersing a peaceful Ukrainian demonstration. On July 21, after nearly 3 months of police surveillance, Rachkov was arrested and placed in pre-trial detention  He has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Gregory Marcus Severin Vinter (formerly — Grigory Vinter), 53 (Cherepovets, Vologda region).

     He was in custody for a post on VKontakte about the actions of the Russian army in Bucha, as well as eight reposts about the shelling of the drama theatre in Mariupol. Vinter said that at night the temperature in his jail cell goes down to 4-6 degrees Celsius. He also said that he has gone deaf in one ear because of the low temperatures and that he has run out of his supply of insulin. After that, he was given insulin, but still continued to write about the inadequate supply of medication. On October 19th, he was transferred to house arrest. On October 28th, the court of appeals overturned this decision. Vinter reported that he was humiliated and beaten in the pre-trial detention center while certain persons tried to get him to write a statement saying he had been placed on the «lowest rung» in the prison. Vinter is being defended by an OVD-Info lawyer and has been recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Maria Semerenko, 37 (Korolyov, Moscow Region)

     Semerenko is a local activist of the Libertarian party. She is being charged with publishing, on April 10, 2022 ‘knowingly false information’ about the war crimes committed by Russian military in Bucha Semerenko is in pre-trial detention. The court reportedly ordered her to undergo compulsory psychiatric evaluation. ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project has recognized her as a political prisoner.

Alexander Kamenyuk (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Kamchatka Region)

     Ex-head of a local office of the pro-Kremlin ‘Fair Russia’ party. Detained on June 15th. The local MIA office reported that the case has been launched in connection to a post by Kamenyuk in a messenger app on May 24th. Previously, the activist had been a subject in at least two administrative cases on discrediting the Russian army. One of them concerned a video posted most likely on Facebook or Instagram. The court has already processed the case and fined Kamenyuk 50 thousand rubles. By the time the criminal case was launched, there had been no information on the court decision coming into force. The court barred Kamenyuk from engaging in certain actions. In September, security forces arrested Kamenyuk for an alleged attempt to “flee from investigative authorities” and held in jail for two days. In November, the court put him into pre-trial detention for violating the previously imposed pre-trial restrictions and failure to attend appointed meetings with the investigator. Later Kamenyuk was placed under house arrest. The case is already in the court.

Alexey Semyonov, 55 (Izhma village, Republic of Komi)

     Semyonov, a physician by training, has been an entrepreneur and an environmental activist. In March of 2022, he made a post in VKontakte about Ukrainian children killed as a result of Russia’s invasion. For this post, he was charged with ‘disparaging the Russian army’ and fined 30,000 RUB by a court order issued in May. In September, after making another online post that criticized the mobilization order, he was sentenced to 5-day arrest for the alleged failure to pay his previous fine, after which he was immediately re-arrested for allegedly disobeying the orders of the police. In October, he was was ordered to stay under house arrest and was subsequently charged with allegedly violating that order six times. Semyonov is recognized as a political prisoner by ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’ Project.

Kirill Martyushev, 23 (Tyumen)

     On March 5th his house was searched. According to investigators, on February 24th Martyushev «recorded and posted a video assessing the activities of the police, which contained signs of inciting violence against a group of individuals united by service in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.» He did this on the public Telegram group #NOWAR while walking through Tyumen. On that day, Martyushev participated in an anti-war rally. He is now in a pre-trial detention center.

Andrey Trofimov, 55 (Tver)

     Trofimov is an opposition journalist who published articles on Kasparov.ru. He was detained on May 7 and was placed in pre-trial detention on charges of ‘extremism’. Trofimov’s son suggests that the grounds for his father’s prosecution are his antiwar posts in VKontakte

Dmitry Aritkulov, 44 (Anadyr, Chukotka Autonomous District)

     Aritkulov was detained on Dec. 18, 2022 and charged with ‘exonerating Nazism’ and ‘inciting extremist activities’. The extremism charge is based upon his comment in Telegram that wished success to Ukraine and said: “Death to the occupants, freedom to the peoples! Greetings from Chukotka!” Aritkulov was reportedly already penalized for his critical online posts in the pre-war period: in 2021, he was fined 100,000 RUB for ‘disrespecting the authorities’ by using obscenity in his comment about Putin.

Igor Levchenko, 26 (Krasnogorsk, Moscow Region)

     Levchenko is a singer and a native of Ukraine. According to investigators, Levchenko made an Instagram post February 24th that displayed signs of «instigating hatred or enmity toward Russia’s military with a threat of violence and murder.» He has reportedly pleaded guilty. After his arrest, a video appeared where Levchenko apologized for the post. He remains in detainment.

Andrey Boyarshinov (Kazan)

     Former employee of Kazan Federal University, with a graduate degree in biology. Repeatedly penalized over the past 5 years for participation in street protests. Detained after a search on March 17th as a suspect in a criminal case involving mass disorder. Taken away in an unknown direction directly after his release on March 19th. On March 20th it became known that Boyarshinov is under house arrest in connection to a case of public justification of terrorism. The grounds for opening this case were posts allegedly made by him under an alias on Telegram in early March 2022 during local antiwar protests. On March 29, 2022, Boyarshinov was placed in pre-trial detention and has been there for the past 10 months. In February 2023, his detention was extended by court until March 18.

Vladimir Timofeev (Irkutsk)

     Veteran of the Afghan and Chechen wars, left-wing activist. He has criticized the Russian authorities on social media since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. As a result, his page on VKontakte was blocked by request of the Prosecutor General’s Office. The case was opened for a post in his Telegram channel about the airstrike by Ukraine on the oil depot in the Belgorod region. Timofeev was placed under house arrest. Initially, it was also reported that a case had been opened against him for discrediting the Russian army.

Nikita Tushkanov, 28 (Syktyvkar, Republic of Komi)

     Tushkanov is a historian by training and former schoolteacher. He has been an opposition activist at least since 2021 when he held a street action in support of the freedom of speech. Within two months, he was fired from his school job. In March 2022, he was charged with ‘petty hooliganism’, ‘displaying Nazi symbols’, and twice with ‘disparaging the army’, but these court proceedings did not lead to a sentencing. However, on Dec. 7, 2022, he was detained after a search and placed in pre-trial detention on charges of ‘justifying terrorism’ and ‘repeat disparagement of the army’. These charges stem from his online posts about the Crimean Bridge explosion and about the annexation of Crimea by Russia. He was also placed on the list of terrorists and extremists by Russia’s financial monitoring agency. In January, his fiancée reported in a Telegram channel that prosecutors had prevented him from registering his marriage with her and did not issue permit for his mother and sister to visit him. In February 2023, Tushkanov’s detention was extended by court to April 5.

Vladislav Kraval, 47 (Ukhta, Komi Republic)

     According to investigators, on September 25th, he called a police department and gave «knowingly false» information related to the arson of a military draft office. Kraval’s house was searched, the police confiscated the jacket he was allegedly wearing when writing the slogan «No to war» and a crossed Z letter at an unknown location. While the search was conducted, Kraval was serving an administrative 6-day arrest in a pre-trial detention center on charges of evading compulsory work. Later, he was placed into custody in relation to a criminal case. Apart from the bomb scare charge, he is accused of vandalism on the grounds of political hatred.

Nikolay Titarenko, 25 (Amur Region)

     According to investigators, he posted a publicly accessible video of the movement «Atesh» in the comments of a public Telegram chat. The video allegedly discusses existing plans for an underground movement within the Russian army «to betray the positions of soldiers and machines» and «organize sabotage in warehouses and headquarters» in order to stop the war. Titarenko has been detained.

Saveliy Frolov, 21 (Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia)

     He was detained at the Upper Lars checkpoint on the Russian-Georgia border on October 30th. The border officials searched his phone and found subscriptions to anti-war Youtube and Telegram channels, anti-war statements in his private messages and messages about the Freedom for Russia Legion. The next day, Frolov was charged with disorderly conduct and placed under administrative arrest for 15 days. On November 14th, he was placed under another 15-day arrest for disobeying the lawful orders of border officials for, allegedly, using his smartphone at the checkpoint. On November 30th, he was placed under 15-day arrest for the 3rd time, charged with disorderly conduct for, supposedly, using profanities in public. On December 2nd, an investigation was initiated against Frolov for preparing high treason, accusing him of defecting to the enemy. According to investigators, Frolov was planning to travel through Georgia to Istanbul, Turkey, then to Poland and, finally, to Ukraine, where he would join the Freedom for Russia Legion. However, Frolov had neither a Schengen visa nor a plane ticket to Turkey. Frolov’s partner told Russian independent media “Mediazona” that they were planning to live together in Georgia while Evgeny Smirnov, Frolov’s lawyer, said that his client had been sending messages about the Legion before the law equating defection to the enemy’s side with high treason entered into force. Frolov was taken into custody.

Maksim Lypkan, 18 (Moscow)

     Lypkan is an activist who applied to the Moscow City authorities for permit to hold a 1,000-people-strong antiwar rally on Feb. 24, in front of the FSB headquarters, titled “A Year in Hell”. The application was denied on Feb. 14; Lypkan filed an appeal of this denial in court, but the appeal was also denied. On Feb. 15, he was charged with ‘disparaging the army’ and, separately, with trying to organize an unsanctioned street action. On Feb. 21, he was detained after a home search and was charged with spreading false information about the military. A district court has placed him in pre-trial detention until April 10.


Anastasia Levashova, 23 (Moscow)

     The first known person involved in the first known criminal case related to antiwar protests. According to investigators, she threw a Molotov cocktail at police officers at a rally on February 24th. The Investigative Committee published a video in which she, having been detained for threatening security forces with violence, apologizes. On March 28th she was sentenced to two years in a penal colony. On December 7th the appeals court shortened her sentence by two months.

Valery Dubenyuk, 29 (St. Petersburg)

     According to investigators, three people attacked police officers during the dispersal of a March 6th rally on Pirogov street. Two of them were detained while the third managed to escape. Korolev is accused of pushing an officer and is currently under house arrest. Dubenyuk has been taken to a pre-trial detention center. The incidents in which Korolev and Dubenyuk are alleged to have participated occurred in the same place: on Pirogov Street. However, it is not clear at the moment whether they are being charged in the same criminal case or in two different ones. Dubenyuk has confessed his guilt. His case was considered according to a special order. On April 25th, he was sentenced to one year in a penal colony.

Andrey Berezin (Astrakhan)

     According to investigators, he drove a car into a fence near the building of the local FSB, and also kicked one of the traffic police inspectors who detained him. According to inspectors, Berezin said after his arrest that he wanted to knock down a monument to Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the secret police, in response to the deaths of children in Ukraine. Berezin stated in court that he was not planning to damage anything, and that the inspector instead used force against him. He has been in custody since March 25. On August 4, the court sentenced Berezin to two years in a colony-settlement.


Vyacheslav Koshelev (Volzhsky, Volgograd Region)

     Detained on April 17th during a kind of race where participants climb the stairs of high-rise buildings. Koshelev believes that he was a subject of interest to security forces because of his clothes — he was wearing a cap with a Ukrainian flag and a hoodie with the message «30 years of Ukraine independence.» He was charged with petty hooliganism. The policemen claimed that he disrupted the race by shouting «indecent slogans.» On April 19th, it became known that a felony charge had been brought forward against Koshelev as during the detainment, according to investigators, he «intentionally kicked the right calf of Vlasov, a police officer, causing him physical pain.» Koshelev signed an agreement not to leave the city. On August 5th, the court ruled to send Koshelev to a psychiatric hospital. He is currently in custody while the sentence is being appealed.

Sultan Akhmedkhanov, 20;  Murad Aligadzhiev, 20; Magomed Ubaidulaev, 20 (all three – Makhachkala, Republic of Dagestan)

     According to the investigation, during the anti-mobilization protest on September 26th, they «punched and kicked various parts of the body» of police lieutenant S. Sarukhanov. The accused said that they were responding to the screams of a woman who had had her phone stolen at the protest. They suspected that Sarukhanov, who was not in uniform, had stolen it.  Their lawyers said that their clients had documented injuries: hematomas on their eyes, nose, limbs, chest, bruised ears, and concussions. Akhmedkhanov, Aligadzhiev and Ubaidulaev are currently being held in pre-trial detention.

Adam Gadzhiev (Makhachkala, Republic of Dagestan), 23

     According to the сharges against him, he used violence against a representative of the state during the anti-mobilization protest on September 26th. Further details are unknown. He is under arrest.

Natalya Filonova (Ulan-Ude, Republic of Buryatia), 61

     According to the charges against her, she used violence against two police officers on September 26th. On that day, both Filonova and сivil activist Nadezhda Nizovkina, who had been detained on September 24th during a public protest against mobilization, were taken to the Sovetsky District Court for a hearing on administrative cases concerning the repeated violations of protest participation regulations (Section 8, Article 20.2 of the Code of Administrative Offences). Unexpectedly, the court building was evacuated. Both women were picked up by different cars. According to investigators, Filonova slapped one police officer on the face and poked another using a pen. As a result, Filonova was placed under house arrest. On November 17, she was placed in a pre-trial detention — this happened after her adopted son went missing and she went looking for him with the electronic bracelet on her leg.

 Denis Serdyuk , 30 (Volgograd)

     Serdyuk has been in detention since May 2022. Prosecutors claim that on May 15 he set on fire a local army draft station by throwing “homemade incendiary devices” into its window. He has been charged with ‘damage to or the destruction of property’ and ‘hooliganism’. He has reportedly pleaded guilty and repented in the courtroom, while stating that his action was intended “to convey his position as a citizen and to stop hostilities”. Serdyuk is a father to 5-year-old son. State prosecution is seeking a 4-year-5-month term for him in penal colony.

Ilya Farber (Igra, Republic of Udmurtia)

     According to the charges against him, he set fire to a military registration and enlistment office (one of the rooms was burnt out as a result of a Molotov cocktail). He was arrested and taken into custody. A video appeared on Telegram channels, in which Farber states that he carried out these arsons because «he wanted to see what [he] was capable of.» On November 9th, he was sentenced to 3 years and 2 months in a maximum-security prison and fined 2,660,000 rubles. In 2012, Farber was sentenced to eight years in a maximum-security penal colony on charges of abuse of office and taking bribes. At the time, Farber was a rural teacher in Tver Oblast and the director of a local recreation center and was going to sue the general director of the company himself, who, according to Farber, did not conduct the repairs on time. Farber was sued by the general director of the company in turn. The sentence was later reduced to three years and Farber was released on parole in 2014.

Andrey Bogdanov, 60 (Zelenodolsk, Republic of Tatarstan)

     According to investigators, on September 4th, he threw a bottle with liquid resembling a Molotov cocktail towards the Zelenodolsk military commissariat. Nothing caught on fire, so for that reason the case was opened under attempted harm to property. On September 6th, Bogdanov was arrested. The aggravating circumstance leading to this form of pre-trial restrictions was a fine he had received for discrediting the Russian army which Bogdanov received on March 14th. He received a fine of 15,000 rubles for a picket with a poster that, according to Bogdanov, read «our Fatherland is in danger.» He is currently in pre-trial detention and on November 30th, he reported that he has been denied medical attention. He has hypertension, but has been unable to get access to a blood pressure monitor. He also needs to have temporary titanium plates in his arm and leg removed, but has not been given access to a surgeon, leaving him unable to use his arm.

Viktor Melnikov, 20 (St. Petersburg)

     According to the prosecution, Melnikov, who is a student, made a combustible mixture at home, because he allegedly wanted to burn the paper files of the military recruitment office, but was unaware that even though the building had the sign on it reading “military recruitment office”, the office was actually located next door. The building (which also belongs to the defense ministry) caught fire on Sept. 21, 2022; Melnikov was detained on Sept. 26. He has reportedly pleaded guilty. In November, he was placed into a psychiatric hospital for forensic evaluation; on Feb. 22, 2023, he was returned to the pre-trial detention.

Goncharenko (first name unknown; Krasnodar).

According to investigators, on October 6th, he threw four Molotov cocktails at the door of the military recruitment office in the city of Goryachii Kliuch, and fled. The resulting fire was put out by employees of the recruitment office before the fire brigade arrived. He was arrested.

Nikolai Baranov (Ryazan)

     According to the prosecution, he intended to set fire to the military commissariat building and the Moskovsky regional court: on the night of October 9th, in a drunken state, he got onto the territory of the courthouse and threw two bottles of flammable liquid through the first-floor window. Baranov was charged with attempted intentional destruction of property. He was arrested. Baranov did not deny his guilt and explained his actions as ideologically motivated.

Dmitry Mikheev, 21 (Bratsk, Irkutsk region)

     According to the prosecution, Mikheev, a sound engineer at “Bratsk” TV and Radio network, tried to set fire to the local military recruiting office. After information about his detention was made public, the network he had been working for announced that he no longer worked there. His name was removed from the company’s website.

Ilya Podkamenny, 18 (Irkutsk)

     Podkamenny was detained in November. According to investigators, he wrapped copper wire around the railroad tracks and attached leaflets handwritten on notebook sheets to the tracks. Podkamenny admitted his guilt. In December, it became known that a case concerning preparing and organizing a terrorist attack  was brought against him. Podkamenny is suspected of collecting funds to prepare an explosion at a local military registration and enlistment office.

Dmitry Lyamin, 31 (Shuya, Ivanovo Region)

     According to investigators, at the beginning of April, he threw «a hand-made explosive device» through the window of a military recruitment office. Nobody was hurt and the fire was quickly extinguished. At first, Lyamin was charged with an attempt to damage or destroy property. Lyamin was placed in custody. At the beginning of June, he was moved to Moscow — most likely, in order to conduct a psychiatric assessment at the Serbsky Center. For some unknown reason, Lyamin rejected the services of the lawyer he had had an agreement with. Human right defender Ivan Astashin believes this decision could have been made under pressure.

Igor Paskar, 46 (Volgograd)

     Paskar was detained in June 2022 in the city of Krasnodar and charged with allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail into a local FSB office. The police also found tubes of blue and yellow paint in his possession and claimed that he had his face painted with these colors of the Ukrainian flag. He was placed in custody. In August, it became known that Paskar is also being charged with “vandalism”, as he had allegedly burned a banner with the war symbol Z on it. In January, at a hearing at Russia’s Southern district military court, Paskar claimed that he had been subjected to torture.

Oleg Vazhdaev (Krasnodar)

     According to investigators, he set fire to the enlistment office of the Western and Prikubansky districts located on Yan Poluyan Street using two Molotov cocktails. Initially, Vazhdaev was charged with intentional destruction of property, but then the charge was reclassified as a terrorist attack. One of the bottles he threw caught fire in front of the building, and the second did not break at all. Vazhdaev explained himself by saying that after the start of mobilization, he was afraid for his relatives and close friends. He was taken into custody.

Vladimir Zolotarev (Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Khabarovsk Region)

     Zolotarev is a taxi driver. He participated in protests. In March, his car was stopped by traffic police. According to investigators, following this stop he hit Senior Lieutenant Dmitry Feldman in the face with his head. Zolotarev states that, during the arrest, the police «twisted» him and, because of the pain, he «leaned back and accidentally hit» the traffic policeman’s face with the back of his head. A case was launched on committing violence toward a representative of the authorities. He was placed under house arrest. On June 4th, Zolotarev set the entrance to a National Guard office on fire. Later at the interrogation, he explained that this is how he wanted to express his protest against the war. The next day, he was detained and placed in custody, charged with an attempted terrorist attack. Another case was then opened concerning preparations for a terrorist attack.  According to investigators, when the traffic police stopped Zolotarev in March, he told them that he intended to break into police and FSB office windows with a pry bar and set them on fire using fuel. A pry bar and fuel were found in his trunk. Zolotarev completely denies this charge.

Roman Shvedov, 37 (Rostov-on-Don)

     According to investigators, on September 26th at around 3 am he approached the Zimnikovsky district town hall in Rostov region and threw a fuel barrel through a window of the office for the head of the construction and urban planning department. The FSB regional office believes that Shvedov committed this act «in order to destabilize the work of the state authorities, affecting their decision-making, expressing protest against the special military operation to defend the DNR and LNR as well as against the partial military draft in Russia.» At first, there was information that a case was opened against Shvedov on the intentional damage of property but this was reclassified as committing a terrorist act. After Shvedov’s detention, a video was released where a man with a blurred face admited his guilt and confessed his crime. Shvedov is in custody. He was also fined two thousand rubles as per the administrative article on disobedience to the lawful orders of the police, as he allegedly attempted to destroy evidence upon being subject to a search.

Pavel Korshunov (Togliatti, Samara Region)

     Korshunov was an employee of a tourism company. According to investigators, on September 22nd he threw a Molotov cocktail at a town hall building, setting its door on fire. On September 28th, Korshunov was placed into custody. He admitted his guilt and collaborated with the investigation. According to media reports, he explained that his action was in protest against the draft. Previously, he participated in demonstrations.

Maxim Asriyan, 26 (St. Petersburg)

     On October 7th, he was detained at Pulkovo airport where he intended to take a plane to Sochi. According to investigators, he bought bottles with explosive liquid in order to set the Frunzensky district military draft office on fire. He approached the building, looked at its windows, then left. He admitted his guilt before meeting an attorney. He is charged with an attempted terrorist act. On October 10th, the court placed Asriyan into custody. The prosecutor states that, on his smartphone, there was «a manual on exploding and destroying railroad infrastructure» and, on his laptop, a completed application to join the «Freedom to Russia» legion as well as links to Telegram accounts «connected to illegal trade of military weapons.» His attorney, Vera Ivanova, mentioned that Asriyan indeed filled in the application in order to provide medical treatment to civilians. However, once he «learned about the financial sources of the Legion, ” he decided not to submit it. She adds that Asriyan suffers from severe chronic diseases which do not allow him to be kept in custody.

Mikhail Babintsev, 39 (Ulan-Ude, Republic of Buryatia)

According to investigators, on the night of October 16-17 he hurled two Molotov cocktails onto the roof of a military recruitment office in Mukhorshibir village. As a result, two square meters of the building facade were burned, but the fire did not penetrate inside the building. Mikhail was taken into custody.

Andrey Petrauskas, 23 (Krasnoyarsk)

     He was detained on suspicion of setting fire to a military recruitment office. According to the sibnovosti.ru news portal, the detainee is a supporter of an extremist organization. SOTA states that the organization in question is “Artpodgotovka.” According to the “Baza” Telegram channel, during questioning Petrauskas claimed that he wanted to do a good deed for society. The young man was taken into custody and charged with attempting to commit a terrorist act.

Ivan Kudryashov, 26 (Tver)

     Kudryashov is a repairman. He conducted anti-war demonstrations in the city. He was detained on September 30 and taken into custody because he allegedly planned to set fire to a military recruitment office as a protest against mobilization. The activist has been charged with preparing to commit a terrorist act.

Vyacheslav Popov, 44 (Kaliningrad)

     He was charged with preparing to commit a terrorist attack and illegal manufacture of explosives. According to the investigation, on May 9 following the orders of one of the leaders of “Right Sector” he planned to commit a terrorist attack near a military base and then to go to Ukraine to fight on the side of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. On May 6 a search was conducted at Popov’s house and after that a video was made public in which Popov said that he contacted Leonid Butusin, commander of the Kaluga division of “Right Sector”, around 2008. However, as “New Kaliningrad” points out, “Right Sector” was not formed until 2013 and there were no reports of any divisions of this banned organization in the Kaluga region. Leonid Butusin is the son of “Right Sector” activist Oleg Butusin who died in Ukraine in April. Popov was placed in pre-trial detention. Previously, he was an activist in the “Baltic Vanguard of the Russian Resistance,” whose other members were sentenced to prison time for being part of an extremist group. Popov’s acquaintance Anastasia Nekhaeva, whose apartment was also searched as part of the criminal case, told Mediazona that Popov was opposed to the war but never mentioned ties with any local nationalist organizations. Popov did not confess at first but later changed his statement.

Anton Zhuchkov, 39; Vladimir Sergeev, 37 (both from Moscow)

     Detained at an antiwar protest on March 6th. Their relatives lost contact with them and only after March 12th was it found out that Zhuchkov and Sergeev were at a hospital. Later, they were released and taken to a pre-detention center. At first, they were charged with preparing a hooligan act committed, by a group of persons, with the use of a weapon. On March 6th, an anonymous group called «Polite People/War» on VK social media platform posted information that two people detained at Pushkinskaya square were in possession of explosives. Sergeev confessed his guilt and admitted that he was planning to set a police car on fire and then commit suicide. Zhuchkov claims that he only intended a suicide. On May 5th, it was learned that the charge was reclassified to the preparation of a terrorist attack by a group of persons. Sergeev has since reported that he was not provided with medical care in the pre-trial detention center.

Kirill Butylin, 21 (Lukhovitsy, Moscow Region)

     According to investigators, he broke two windows at a military draft office and threw two Molotov cocktails inside. He also painted the gate with Ukrainian flag colors and left a «provocative message about the Russian special operation in Ukraine.» Following the arson, he attempted to flee but was detained on March 8th at the Belorussian-Lithuanian border and handed over to the Russian authorities. On that day, he posted a video of his attack on a military draft office and a manifesto. On March 13th, Butylin managed to escape from the police office. He was put on a wanted list and later in the evening was detained again. Initially, he was charged with vandalism, but later the charge was reclassified to arson. Following this, a charge of an attempted terrorist act was added. Butylin is currently in custody.

Farrukhdzhon Zokirov, 18; Mustafa Shakhbazov, 18; Emin Sadygov; Sadygov’s brother (name unknown), 17 (all four from Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan)

According to investigators, they made at least five attempts to damage electrical equipment connected to railway tracks. In so doing, they «opposed the special military operation in Ukraine and expected to destabilize the work of the authorities.» They have been taken into custody.

Mikhail Nikitin, 47 (Yekaterinburg)

According to the FSB, he was preparing “a terrorist attack on an administrative building”, a local military recruitment office, to “spread panic among the local populace”. The department believes the man had accomplices who currently form part of the investigation. He was placed in custody under an article on preparing a terrorist attack.

Alexey Nuriev, 37; Roman Nasryev, 27 (both from Bakal. Chelyabinsk Region)

     According to investigators, on the night of October 11, the two musicians broke a window on the ground floor of the administration building and threw two Molotov cocktails through it. The guard was able to extinguish the fire before the firemen arrived. The men were arrested within a couple of hours. On October 13, the Central District Court of Chelyabinsk sent them to a pre-trial detention center for two months. Initially, Nuriev and Nasryev were charged with intentional destruction and damage to property, but later the case was requalified as a terrorist act carried out by a group of persons by prior conspiracy. The press service of the FSB in the region noted that the detainees “are members of several dozen left- and right-wing radical Internet communities, including pro-Ukrainian nationalist ones.” Another case was also opened against Nureyev and Nasryev for undergoing training for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities. A source in law enforcement told URA.RU that the musicians “took courses on carrying out terrorist activities online and by phone. The arson attack on the mayor’s office was a premeditated act.”

Mikhail Balabanov, 20 (Nevinnomyssk, Stavropol Region)

     According to Telegram channels, he spoke out against the war in Ukraine. Investigators believe that he planned to set fire to a military recruiting office in Nevinnomyssk and Kochubey districts. The Telegram channel SHOT claims that Balabanov was recruited by a man who introduced himself in their correspondence as “Ben” and allegedly worked for the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. According to law enforcement officials, the Nevinnomyssk resident bought materials for making an incendiary mixture and planned to set fire to the local military recruiting office as per the instructions of “Ben.” A case was filed concerning preparing an act of terrorism by prior conspiracy.

Nikita Oleynik, 27; Denis Aidyn, 23; Kirill Brik, 24; Roman Paklin, 25 (all 4 from Surgut, Tyumen Region)

Yuri Neznamov, 27; Danil Chertykov, 28 (both residents of Yekaterinburg).

Oleynik is an “antifa” activist and the founder of a local library of libertarian literature. Investigators claim him to be the founder and leader of a terrorist group which planned to overthrow the current government and commit terrorist acts on railways on which Russian military hardware was supposed to pass. He is currently in custody and has reported instances of torture as well as being forced to confess. After Oleynik refused to testify, he was transferred to a different detention facility, with his defense not ruling out the possibility of further torture. Investigators believe that Aidyn, Brik, Paklin, Neznamov, and Chertykov participated in a terrorist group created by Nikita Oleynik. Aidyn and Brik, both musicians and “antifa” activists, were detained with an explosive substance. They claimed they wanted to test it out of curiosity. They were detained and placed in custody. Later, both reported being tortured, which resulted in them testifying against themselves and other targets of the investigation. Aidyn and Brik are charged with the manufacture of explosives by a group of people. Paklin (a car mechanic), Neznamov (a designer) and Chertykov (a veterinarian) were detained the next day and taken into custody. They later reported confessing under torture. Paklin and Brik were transferred to another detention facility, with their support group suspecting this being done for the purposes of leveraging pressure on them.

Valeria Zotova, 19 (Yaroslavl)

Valeria was detained on Feb. 16, 2023; she was charged with an attempt to commit a “terrorist act” by burning a facility that housed aid for mobilized soldiers. On Feb. 18, a local court ordered her to pre-trial detention until Apr. 16. Local pro-Kremlin media published a video of her alleged confession of having provided information about such buildings to the Ukrainian army for monetary reward; the video shows her asking someone several times what exactly she is supposed to say. Valeria’s mother reported that she herself had also been fined for ‘disparaging the army’ after she made a graffiti that said “No to war” and had participated in pro-Navalny rallies and other protest actions prior to the war.


Valeria Goldenberg (Sudak, Crimea, Ukraine)

     According to the charges against her, she desecrated the grave of Valentin Isaychev, a serviceman of Russia’s 810th Marine Brigade of the Russian Federation who perished during hostilities in Berdyansk. Goldenberg pleaded guilty, allegedly stating that she did it “for the sake of revenge and out of compassion for the people of Ukraine”. She was sentenced to two years in a penal colony.

Aziz Fayzullaev, 25 (Sovetsky, Crimea, Ukraine)

     According to information from the «Baza» Telegram channel, in June he voluntarily went to a police station and confessed to setting fire to the Pushkino village administrative building due to his anti-war position. On October 26, he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

Andrei Belozerov, 45 (Simferopol, Crimea, Ukraine)

     Belozerov is a former professor at Belogorsk Technological College. He is currently under house arrest. The social media post that resulted in the opening of the case was dated October 9th and said “Innocent children and women of Ukraine have been bombed for 8 years in Donbas by Russian Military Forces turning their guns away from the frontlines and towards Donetsk. And yet again, for the past six months, Russian Military Forces have been bombing Ukrainian cities and killing Ukrainian residents.” Earlier, Belozerov was found guilty under the same administrative article  for playing a video with the song “Bayraktar” for his students at the technical college. Following the students’ complaint against the professor, he was arrested for 13 days under part 1 Article 20.3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses, “Displaying prohibited symbols” and later was fired. On October 28th, Belozerov was once again placed under administrative arrest for 14 days under the same Article for displaying prohibited symbols, this time for posting the song “Chervona Kalina” on VKontakte. He was beaten during the arrest. Belozerov is represented by an OVD-Info lawyer.

Vadim Ignashov (Vladivostok)

     Ignashov is a Ukrainian citizen and a sailor. He was detained sometime between February 27th and March 4th for social media posts. Allegedly, he published photos and videos of dead Russian soldiers and destroyed military equipment, called for the killing of Russian troops, encouraged fellow countrymen to record the movements of Russian columns in the Kherson region and called for them to send this information to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. A video in which a man calling himself Vadim Ignashov admits his guilt, apologizes and says that Banderites and Nazis have no place among the civilian population and that Russia and Ukraine are brotherly nations has since been published on the internet. On March 5th he remained in a pre-trial detention center.

Bogdan Ziza, 27 (Evpatoria, Crimea, Ukraine)

     Ziza is an artist. According to investigators, on May 16th he spilled blue and red paint on the building of a local administration, following which he threw a Molotov cocktail into it. It did not result in a fire. Ziza was detained on the same day. Security forces published a video in which Ziza confessed his guilt. Later, it became known that Ziza was to be charged with attempting a terrorist act. He is being held in a pre-trial detention center. He is also being reportedly charged with ‘attempted damage or destruction of property’ and ‘vandalism’.

Project director & editor – Dmitri Daniel Glinski

Our roundtable on refugees in Russia and from it to the U.S. with Svetlana Gannushkina / Наш круглый стол о беженцах в России и из неё в США со Светланой Ганнушкиной

On January 30, our Association, along with the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, held our first international online roundtable of this season (which is the third year since we launched this program). Its topic was the wartime flight of refugees into Russia and from it to the US. The event’s keynote speaker was Svetlana Gannushkina – co-founder and chair of the Civic Assistance Committee, member of the Council of Russia’s Human Rights Defenders and of the Federal Political Committee of Yabloko. Opening remarks were delivered by Jacob Levin, a representative of the U.S. State Department. Other speakers at the roundtable included: Elena Denevich, Esq., member of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association; Stanislav Stanskikh, director of The New England Institute for Country Conditions Expertise, LLC and co-founder of the Russian Refugees advocacy project; Viktor Kamenschikov, former member of Vladivostok city legislature, antiwar protester, and recent asylum recipient in the US; and Alexey Semyonov, president of the Andrei Sakharov Foundation. The event was organized and moderated by Dr. Dmitri Glinski, co-founder and Managing Director of the American Russian-speaking Association for Civil & Human Rights. The latest data published by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse indicate that the number of encounters with Russian refugees on the U.S.-Mexican border continues to rise (from less than 800 in February 2022 to nearly 8,000 in December). The number of Russians granted asylum or another form of stay in the U.S. by immigration courts has also increased tenfold – from about 500 in the entire fiscal year 2021 to 1,330 in the first 3 months of fiscal year 2023 (which began on Oct. 1, 2022).

You are welcome to watch the videos of the entire roundtable and some of the individual presentations posted on www.facebook.com/AmRusRights.

30 января наша Американская русскоязычная правозащитная ассоциация совместно с Фондом Андрея Сахарова провела очередной международный круглый стол онлайн. Он был посвящён ситуации с беженцами в России и из неё в США. С основным докладом выступила Светлана Ганнушкина – соосновательница и глава Комитета “Гражданское содействие”, член Совета российских правозащитников и федерального политкомитета “Яблока”. Также выступили: сотрудник администрации Байдена Джейкоб Левин; президент Фонда Сахарова Алексей Семёнов; член Американской ассоциации иммиграционных адвокатов Елена Деневич; сотрудник Флетчеровской школы права и дипломатии Станислав Станских; недавно получивший политубежище в США бывший депутат думы Владивостока Виктор Каменщиков. Организатор и ведущий круглого стола – cопредседатель совета директоров АРПА Дмитрий Глинский. Согласно официальной статистике, число российских политбеженцев, зафиксированных пограничной службой США на границе с Мексикой, продолжает расти и в декабре достигало почти 8 тыс. чел. за месяц, а число россиян, получивших убежище или иное разрешение остаться в США через иммиграционный суд, с 2021 г. выросло с примерно 500 за весь 2021 финансовый год до 1330 только за первые 3 месяца 2023 финансового года (окт. – дек. 2022 г.).

Видеозаписи всего круглого стола и отдельно некоторых из выступлений участников опубликованы на www.facebook.com/AmRusRights и на t.me/AmRusRights.

THE RUSSIA OF TOMORROW: Antiwar Resistance & Human Rights Defense Digest / Issue # 9, Oct. 9-16, 2022

Table of contents and summary of the week

I. OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AND THE WAR ZONE: Asieh Chapukh fined for Facebook posts; pre-trial detention extended for Bohdan Ziza charged with ‘terrorism’ and imam Raif Fevziev charged with participation in Hizb ut-Tahrir; criminal charges filed against an unnamed woman for ‘anti-Russian statements’ and against Olga Sayenko for ‘disparaging the army’


A. Public protests and reprisals – new cases: Moscow city government staffer Oleg Sidorenko emails antiwar letters to over 1,600 city workers from abroad; Azat Agzamov fined for anti-Putin and antiwar protest on Putin’s 70th birthday; Nikolay Titarenko detained for alleged support of an underground sabotage group inside the army; Irina Tsybanyova under house arrest for alleged desecration of the grave of Vladimir Putin’s parents; Alexey Semyonov under house arrest for ‘repeat disparagement’ of the army; Ruslan Zinatullin and Zufar Garipov get their online profiles blocked; a defendant persuades a judge that she did not mean ‘war’ when writing ‘No to the w*r’ on the pavement

B. Public protests and reprisals – ongoing cases: antiwar protester Lev Lerman sentenced to 4 years in penal colony allegedly for storing 10 gun cartridges; prosecution seeks 7 years of imprisonment for Altan Ochirov and 6 years for Vladimir Zavyalov, both for ‘spreading false reports’ about the army; Vladimir Rumyantsev is indicted for ‘knowingly spreading false reports’ about the army; Oleg Belousov slapped with additional charges of ‘inciting extremism’; Anatoly Nogovitsyn charged with criminal ‘disparagement of the army’ is ordered a psychiatric examination with potential compulsory treatment; pre-trial restrictions imposed on Ilya Myaskovsky and Natalia Rezontova; pre-trial detention extended for Vladimir Kara-Murza (on the same day as he gets a Havel Prize from PACE), Vsevolod Korolyov, and Richard Rouz; court returns the case of Olga Smirnova, charged with ‘spreading false news’ about the army, back to the prosecutor due to procedural violations;

C. Burnings of conscription facilities and other government buildings: Igor Paskar indicted for alleged arson in an FSB building; Nikolay Baranov detained for allegedly setting a local court and conscription office on fire; Maksim Asriyan detained for allegedly planning to burn a conscription office

III. MOBILIZATION AND THE COURTS: Maksim Moiseyev is still under criminal charges for not showing up for mobilization even though per Russia’s supreme court it is not punishable

IV. POLITICAL REPRISALS DIRECTLY UNRELATED TO THE WAR: Anastasia Ponkina gets a suspended jail term for actions during protests against Navalny’s arrest; former policeman Magomed Dolgiev sentenced to a suspended jail term for disobeying orders to disperse protesters in 2019, Tatyana Kozlova fined nearly $5,000 for taking part in an anti-Putin protest in downtown Moscow on his 70th birthday; Maria Gordeyko and Renat Yakubov fined and Maria Gordeyko jailed for petitioning for student stipend raise; Vyacheclav Kryukov released after over 4.5 years behind the bars on a fabricated case

V. PERSECUTION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES: Lyudmila Shchekoldina’s sentence of 4 years and 1 month in penal colony upheld; Boris Yagovitov and Ildar Urazbakhtin sentenced to suspended jail terms; Boris Andreev, Natalia Sharapova, and Anatoly Li placed in pre-trial detention; Oleg and Agnessa Postnikov get their suspended terms voided and case remanded

VI. EXODUS FROM RUSSIA AND TRANSNATIONAL REPRESSION: activist Mikhail Iosilevich, journalist Badma Byurchiev, and restaurant owner Nikita Botberg announce they have left Russia due to persecution; Lyubov Sobol, Prokhor Protasov, and Albert Mansurov subjected to reprisals in absentia


Oct. 10 – In Rostov-on-Don, Southern district military court turned down the request of imam Raif Fevziev from the Simferopol area of Crimea, to release him to a house arrest and instead extended his pre-trial detention until Jan. 23 of next year. Fevziev, a father of 3 minor children, is charged with alleged participation in the international Islamic party Hizb ut-Tahrir which is banned in Russia, Germany, and some other countries for various reasons (in Russia, it was branded as terrorist by the supreme court in 2003). Charges against him are based on a single audio recording dating back to 2015. (Source: Crimean Solidarity)

Oct. 13 – In Yevpatoria (Crimea, Ukraine), 27-year-old artist Bohdan Ziza got his pre-trial detention extended until at least Jan. 16 of next year. He is charged with an ‘act of terrorism’ for allegedly splashing blue and yellow paint onto the Kremlin-controlled local administration headquarters in the night of May 16. Official media published a videorecording of Ziza admitting his guilt and recanting. He has also been included on the Kremlin list of ‘terrorists and extremists. (Source: RFE/RL)

Oct. 14 – In Coreiz (Crimea, Ukraine), police conducted a search in the home of Asan and Asieh Chapukh. Asan Chapukh is currently under house arrest after 15 months in detention on charges of extortion that are widely viewed as politically motivated. After the search, his wife Asieh was taken to Yalta where city court fined her for a total of 61,000 rubles (circa $975) under three administrative charges (an equivalent of a misdemeanor): ‘disparaging Russia’s armed forces’; ‘petty hooliganism on the Internet; and ‘propaganda or display of Nazi symbols’. All charges are based on the Facebook posts that she allegedly made under an alias. (Source: Crimean Solidarity) In one of them, Russia was called a fascist state. During court hearings, she did not deny that she made these posts. (Source: Graty)

– On the same day in Kerch (Crimea, Ukraine), local FSB publicized the detention of an unnamed 30-year-old woman, charging her with online chat comments allegedly inciting violence against ethnic Russians. She apparently posted them in the wake of the Crimean Bridge explosion. Charges against her carry a jail term of up to 5 years. Possible additional charges against her for ‘disparaging the army’ were pending at the time of the publication. (Source: KrymInform) On Oct. 11 charges of ‘disparaging the army’ were filed in Kerch city court against Olga Sayenko, but it is not yet known whether this is the same or a different case. (Source: OVD-Info)


A. Public protesting and reprisals – new cases

Oct. 10 – On or around that date, between 3am and 7am local time, Oleg Sidorenko, a staff photographer of a Moscow city municipal agency (committee on architecture) sent out an antiwar email individually to 1,621 employees of all city agencies. In his mass mailing, he stated that “the war initiated by Russia’s authorities is a crime against humanity and against the world. Don’t be afraid to go out and speak up if you have something to say.” In his own words, he had the time to progress from letter A to letter S of the city directory, after which his access to internal email system was restricted. In his own words, he had been intimidated at work with threats of firing in case he does not attend a pro-war rally or vote. Sidorenko is currently abroad and has no plans to return. (Source: ‘Ostorozhno Moskva’ [Beware, Moscow] and ‘ASTRA’ Telegram channels)

              –  On the same day in Meleuz (Republic of Bashkortostan), a district court fined Azat Agzamov 40,000 RUB (c. $640) for ‘disparaging the army’. These charges resulted from Agzamov’s street action on Oct. 7, Putin’s 70th birthday, when he held a solo street action holding a banner that said: “Putin, this is your last jubilee. Gorge yourself, beast.” According to the court order, while doing it he was also “encouraging others to impede the use of Russia’s Armed Forces” in Ukraine. The ruling posted on the court’s website states that Agzamov “fully admitted his guilt” and “clarified that he was opposed to military actions”. (Source: Meleuz district court website) This was Agzamov’s second sentencing after his action – on the day of it he was sentenced to 5 days of administrative (i.e. non-criminal) arrest, for allegedly disobeying police when they ordered him to remove the banner. His violent detention by police was covered in our previous issue.

Oct. 12 – Also in St. Petersburg, a district court placed 60-year-old Irina Tsybanyova under house arrest on suspicion of ‘desecrating a grave out of political or ideological hatred’. According to her son, on Oct. 6 she went to the cemetery where Vladimir Putin’s parents are buried and left a note there; on Oct. 10, she was visited by police. As documented in the case, the note asks for “the parents of this maniac to take him to where they are – he has caused so much pain and calamities, the entire world is praying for his death. … You raised a monster and a murderer.” Tsibanyova did not deny her authorship of the note. Prosecution sought to place her in pre-trial detention, but it is noteworthy that the court did not honor this request and let her go home. (Source: Mediazona)

              – On the same day in Tyumen, a court dismissed the charges of ‘disparaging the army’ that were filed against Alisa (last name unknown). On Sept. 24, she used a piece of chalk to write ‘No to the w*r’ on the street pavement; she was then arrested and immediately slapped with the charges carrying a fine of between 30 and 50 thousand RUB. However, in Russian, war (voina) is a 5-letter word, and the defendant asserted that she really meant another word – roach (vobla). Not only did the local judge close her case, but he also ordered the police to return the box of chalks that they had seized from her. This ruling immediately became the source of many jokes, memes, and cartoons in the Russian media. (Source: ‘Tyumen – bogaty region’ [Tyumen is a rich region] Telegram channel)

Oct. 13 – In Amur region, 25-year-old Nikolay Titarenko was detained and charged with ‘public incitement of activities directed against the security of the state’; this brand-new article of the criminal code carries a penalty of up to 6 years in jail. Titarenko is said to have posted on Telegram a video statement on behalf of the representatives of a self-described “underground movement” within the army consisting of Russians, Ukrainians, and Crimean Tatars; in this video, they declare that they let themselves be mobilized so as “to destroy the army from the inside” by sabotaging the war and passing information to the Ukrainians. This video reportedly originated on the Telegram channel of a Ukrainian public figure and has been circulating online since early October. (Sources: ‘ASTRA’ Telegram channel, OVD-Info)

            – On the same day in Izhma village (Republic of Komi), Alexey Semyonov, a local environmental activist, was subjected to a search and charged with ‘repeat disparagement’ of the army immediately upon his release from a 10-day arrest for allegedly disobeying police (which, in turn, immediately followed a 5-day arrest for nonpayment of a fine). On Oct. 14, district court ordered him under house arrest until Dec. 6. Charges against him stem from his online posts in VKontakte (Source: Izhma district court website); Semyonov was already fined for them in May, for 30,000 RUB. (Source: OVD-Info)

B. Public protesting and reprisals – ongoing cases

Oct. 10 – In Moscow, a district court extended Vladimir Kara-Murza’s pre-trial detention until Dec. 12. The hearing was closed to the public and the media, at the insistence of the investigator from the prosecution’s office. Kara-Murza has been in detention since April, initially for allegedly ‘disobeying the police’; he was later slapped with three criminal charges – first, for ‘spreading false information’ against the military in his remarks to the House of Representatives of the State of Arizona; second, for taking part in the activities of an ‘undesirable organization’ (The Free Russia Foundation); and most recently, for ‘high treason’, based on his remarks in Lisbon, Oslo, and Washington, where he spoke about political persecutions, election fraud, and censorship in Russia. (Source: Mediazona) On the same day in Strasbourg, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe awarded Kara-Murza with its annual Václav Havel Human Rights Prize. The prize honors “outstanding civil society action in defence of human rights in Europe and beyond”. Its prior recipients include this year’s Nobel Prize winner Ales Bialiatski (2013), Ludmilla Alexeeva (2015), Oyub Titiev (2018), and Maria Kalesnikava (2021). (Source: Council of Europe) The prize was accepted on Kara-Murza’s behalf by his wife Yevgeniya; she read out his statement in which he dedicated his win to the thousands of Russians who spoke against the war and stated that “a peaceful, democratic and Putin-free Russia” was going to regain its seat in the Council of Europe. And on Oct. 12 in Moscow, the Yabloko Party held a public screening of Kara-Murza’s documentary about Georgy Edelshteyn, Russian Orthodox priest and a long-time participant of the Soviet-era dissident movement who was also among a handful of the Russian clergy to speak against the war. The screening was briefly interrupted by a group of invaders in masks and hoodies who screamed “Kara-Murza is a traitor” but were escorted out of the building without further incidents. (Source: Yabloko)

– On the same day, in St. Petersburg, the detention of Vsevolod Korolyov, charged with ‘spreading false reports’ about the army via his posts in VKontakte, was extended for a record-breaking term of six months, until April 2, 2023. This decision was made in spite of 220 affidavits submitted in his support. Korolyov is a poet and a documentary filmmaker; before his arrest he was shooting documentaries about other antiwar protesters, Aleksandra Skochilenko and Maria Ponomarenko. (Source: SOTA Project) Korolyov may be facing a 5–10-year jail term.

– Also in St. Petersburg, a second criminal case, for ‘inciting extremism on the internet’, was filed against Oleg Belousov, who is already in detention since June for ‘spreading false reports’ about the Russian army. These initial charges against him were based on his comments in VKontakte; new charges reportedly also stem from his online postings but have not been finalized yet. (Source: OVD-Info)

– Also in St. Petersburg, a district court sided with the defense of Maria Smirnova, charged with ‘spreading false reports’ about the army, and ordered to return the case against her to the prosecution due to “serious procedural violations”. Smirnova has been in detention since May; the charges stem from her seven posts in VKontakte. Smirnova is an activist of a group called ‘Peaceful Resistance – Democratic Petersburg’. In 2021, she was charged with ‘justifying terrorism’ due to her street actions in support of the Crimean Tatars. A year later, prosecution found those charges to have been filed unlawfully and closed her case.

– On the same day in Nizhny Novgorod, Lev Lerman, 66-years-old retired pensioner, was sentenced to four years in a penal settlement – allegedly for possession of ten gun cartridges found in his basement upon a second search; local media reports that in reality, according to his friends and acquaintances, he was punished for speaking out against the invasion from its first days, encouraging people to protest against it. During the first search, police confiscated all his information devices. Lerman has been in detention since March 4. Lerman’s supporters were prevented by the authorities from attending his sentencing. On the same day, also in Nizhny, a district court imposed pre-trial restrictions on Ilya Myaskovsky, teacher, photographer, and blogger who had been covering the developments in Lerman’s case and was criminally charged in early October with ‘repeat disparagement’ of the army (as discussed in our previous issue). Myaskovsky is now prohibited from using the internet and regular mail and attending unsanctioned street actions during his pre-trial period. Natalia Rezontova, another local journalist, was placed under the same restrictions and in addition was banned from using cell phone. (Source: Reporter-NN)

–  On the same day in Yakutsk (Republic of Yakutia-Sakha), an investigator from the interior ministry ordered a forensic psychiatric examination of Anatoly Nogovitsyn, with the stated intent to determine whether Nogovitsyn requires compulsory treatment; a criminal case has been recently filed against him on charges of disparaging the army, based on his online video post that was critical of the invasion and the mobilization. Nogovitsyn is the head of the local branch of Yabloko, Russia’s only legal antiwar party. In April he was fined 30,000 RUB on ‘administrative’ charges of ‘disparaging the army’. (Source: Yabloko) On the same day, in Kazan, Ruslan Zinatullin, the head of Yabloko branch in Tatarstan, got his profile in VKontakte blocked by demand of Russia’s prosecutor general; it is now only accessible in Russia via VPN. (Source: ‘7×7 – Horizontal Russia’ Telegram channel) On the next day, the prosecutor general office also got the VKontakte profile of another Yabloko activist in Tatarstan, Zufar Garipov, blocked. (Source: Yabloko) Four members of Yabloko are defendants in criminal cases on ‘spreading false reports’ or on ‘disparaging the army’; 30 Yabloko activists have been sentenced to fines, for a total of over 2 million RUB.

Oct. 11 – In Vologda, Vladimir Rumyantsev, 61-year-old local resident, was issued final indictment on charges of ‘knowingly spreading false reports’ on the Russian military by posting online about civilian casualties in Ukraine. The prosecutors also charged him with allegedly running an underground antiwar radio station from his apartment. Rumyantsev pleaded not guilty. Before being placed in detention in July, he worked as a stoker. (Source: OVD-Info)

Oct. 12 – In Elista (Republic of Kalmykia), local prosecutor sought 7 years of imprisonment for Altan Ochirov, owner of ‘Volny ulus’ Telegram channel, who is charged with ‘knowingly spreading false reports’ about the murders of civilians by the Russian military in Ukraine. Achirov pleaded not guilty, asserting that all his posts were based on reliable sources. (Source: ‘Setevye svobody’ [Net Freedoms] Telegram channel).

– On the same day in Smolensk, prosecution asked the court to sentence Vladimir Zavyalov, a local businessman, to 6 years of imprisonment, for ‘spreading false reports’ about the army while being ‘motivated by political hatred’. Zavyalov allegedly replaced price tags with antiwar stickers at a supermarket (the same charge as against Aleksandra Skochilenko in St. Petersburg), spreading the information about the mobile cremation chambers that were brought by the Russian military to Ukraine and about the number of refugees from Ukraine which he openly blamed on Russia’s aggression. Zavyalov has reportedly pleaded partially guilty, claiming that he was acting upon somebody else’s request. (Source: SOTA Project)

– On the same day in Kirov, district court turned down Richard Rouz’ request to release him from pre-trial detention to a house arrest; instead, his detention was extended to Nov. 29 (prosecution sought to have it extended until Dec. 14). Rouz has been charged with ‘extremism’; after the start of the invasion, he and his wife Maria Rouz made online posts, including photos and videos of the Bucha massacre, that prosecution deemed to be “offensive and slanderous” with regard to the Russian military. (Source: RFE/RL)

Overall, according to a report published by Russia’s supreme court, in the first half of 2022, Russian lower courts dealt with a total of 16,151 charges of ‘violation of the rules of holding public actions’ (which is over 3,500 fewer cases than in the first half of 2021, during the wave of protests following the imprisonment of Alexey Navalny); and in 88% of these cases found the defendants to be guilty. According to previously published reports of Moscow and St. Petersburg courts, Moscow accounted for 53% of the cases involving public protests and another 32% of these cases were tried in St. Petersburg. In 87% of the cases related to public protests, these courts imposed fines, of circa 14,000 RUB. on average (circa $220), for a total of 171 million RUB. (c. $2.7 million), of which sentences for a total of 72 million RUB. have entered into force. Between January and June of 2022, lower-level courts also heard 2,955 cases involving the new crime of ‘disparaging the army’, with guilty verdicts issued in 85% of the cases; only 19% of these cases were in Moscow or St. Petersburg. The total amount of fines in these cases was 85 million RUB. (c. $1.4 million), with an average fine around 34,000 RUB. (c. $550) In most of the cases of either type where a guilty verdict was not reached, courts returned case materials to the police to correct procedural errors. (Source: OVD-Info)

C. Burnings of conscription offices and other government buildings

Oct. 10 – In St. Petersburg, a district court arrested, until Dec. 8, Maksim Asriyan, a 26-year-old nurse who has been charged with ‘attempted act of terrorism’ for planning to set a local army draft station on fire. Asriyan’s defense claimed that he brought the tools of arson to the building but at the last moment decided not to do it because of his rejection of violence. The prosecution declared that during the search of his devices police found “instructions on how to destroy railroad infrastructure” and a filled-out questionnaire of an applicant to the so-called ‘Free Russia Legion’, a putative armed guerrilla organization that was previously advertised online by Ilya Ponomaryov, a Russian politician in exile (according to the defense, Asriyan ended up not applying to join the ‘legion’). After the start of the war, Asriyan moved with his family to Georgia, but recently returned to Russia leaving his wife abroad. Asriyan has reportedly pleaded guilty. (Source: Mediazona)

Oct. 11 – In Ryazan, Nikolay Baranov was reportedly placed in pre-trial detention until Dec. 8, on charges of having thrown two Molotov cocktails into a district court building in the night of Oct. 9; according to one report, he was planning to burn a conscription office but mixed up the buildings (Source: FSB Ryazan Telegram channel); investigators allege that he was going to set up both buildings on fire (Source: Ryazan’s Soviet district court). Baranov reportedly admitted his guilt and stated that he had done it out of conviction. The criminal case against him charges him not with terrorism but with “intentional attempt to inflict property damage”.

Oct. 12 – In Krasnodar, prosecution finalized the indictment against Igor Paskar, charged with ‘an act of terrorism’. On June 14, Paskar allegedly threw a Molotov cocktail into a local FSB building. He is also charged with ‘vandalism’ for his alleged burning of a banner with letter Z that has become a semi-official war symbol. It was reported that Paskar may be facing up to 15 years in jail. The case will be heard by the Southern military district court and may become the first court case on the burnings of government buildings in Russia since the start of the war. (Source: Zona solidarnosti [The Solidarity Zone] Facebook page)


Oct. 12 – In Kondol (a village in the Penza region), 32-year-old Maksim Moiseyev reportedly remains under criminal charges for refusing to mobilize – even though on Oct. 7 regional prosecutor’s office agreed to his lawyer’s motion to close the case and ruled that it had been filed unlawfully; these decisions were based upon Russia’s supreme court determination made in 2008 that criminal penalties for draft evasion only apply to regular conscription or alternative civilian service between the age of 18 and 27. (For more details on his case and his detention, please see our previous issue.) Yet according to Moiseyev’s wife, instead of being closed his case was transferred to the investigative committee of the city of Moscow (Source: OVD-Info)


Oct. 10 – In Izhevsk (Republic of Udmurtia), Anastasia Ponkina was found guilty of ‘hooliganism’ for her actions during the Jan. 2021 protests against the imprisonment of Alexey Navalny and given a 2-year suspended jail sentence. Prosecutors claimed that she urged protesters to block road traffic or tried to do it. In her final remarks Ponkina is said to have partially admitted her guilt and stated that she was not going to be involved in politics any longer. (Source: SOTA Project) Ponkina was one of more than 180 defendants in the criminal cases filed in the aftermath of the protests. OVD-Info continues to petition online for ending the reprisals against them. You can sign the petition here: https://palace.ovdinfo.org/.

             – On the same day in Moscow, a district court sentenced Tatiana Kozlova to a 300,000-RUB (almost $4,800) fine, for ‘repeat violation of the rules of holding street actions’. On Oct. 7, the day of Putin’s 70th birthday, Kozlova photographed a solo street protest of Grigory Samsonov across from the Kremlin but was charged with participating in his action. Samsonov was put in pre-trial detention for 28 days. (Source: OVD-News)

             – On the same day in Moscow, a district court sentenced Maria Gordeyko and Renat Yakubov for ‘violating the rules for holding public actions’ while petitioning for government stipend increase for college students. Yakubov was fined 18,000 RUB; Gordeyko, charged with ‘repeat violation’, was sentenced to 8 days of arrest. Both are activists of the Left Front organization. (Source: OVD-Info)

Oct. 14 – In Pyatigorsk, city court sentenced 47-year-old Magomed Dolgiev, a former policeman, to one-year suspended jail sentence for disobeying orders during police dispersal of a massive protest rally in Magas, Ingushetia, on March 27, 2019. Dolgiev was one of the 15 policemen who formed a line between the protesters and the troops of the national guard to prevent clashes. All of them were fired, 13 including Dolgiev charged with disobeying orders and all, and all 13 sentenced to suspended jail terms for ‘intentional disobedience … motivated by political hostility’. Dolgiev was the last to be sentenced. (Source: Memorial Human Rights Defense Center)

             –   In Rostov-on-Don, 23-year-old Vyacheslav Kryukov became the first of the defendants in the notorious case of the putative ‘New Greatness’ underground group to be released from imprisonment. He has spent over 4.5 years in pre-trial detention and penal colony on charges of ‘organizing an extremist community’. A total of 10 people were charged in this case which was widely reported to be fabricated by FSB operatives who played an active role in shaping this group and its activities. Prior to his detention, Kryukov was a third-year student at a law school but was expelled since then. Kryukov initially protested his detention, first by going on hunger strike for a month; in 2019, he and one of his co-defendants, Ruslan Kostylenkov, attempted suicide while in the courtroom. Still later, he reported being tortured by the guards during a break in the court session. (Source: OVD-Info)


Oct. 10 – In Krasnodar, an appeals court upheld the lower-court verdict against 45-year-old Lyudmila Shchekoldina from Pavlovskaya hamlet. She was sentenced in May of this year to 4 years and 1 month in penal colony. Shchekoldina continues to insist on her innocence. In the five years since JWs’ organization was banned as ‘extremist’, no less than 349 believers have reportedly been jailed, even though in February of this year the chairman of Russia’s supreme court stated that participation in religious services in and of itself cannot be considered an extremist act. (Source: JW website)

              –  On the same day in Solnechnoe village (Khabarovsk region), 50-year-old Boris Yagovitov was sentenced by district court to 5 years of suspended jail term with further 3 years of probation and 1 year and 7 months of restriction of movement. This sentence comes after Yagovitov already spent over 9 months in pre-trial detention, and prior to that, several months under house arrest. The charges against him are the same as against most other JWs: ‘taking part in the activities of an extremist organization’ and ‘recruiting others to join’. (Source: JW website)

–   On the same day in Kodinsk (Krasnoyarsk region), 59-year-old Ildar Urazbakhtin was sentenced by district court for 3 years of suspended jail term. The court turned out to be substantially more lenient than the prosecutor who sought a sentence of 7 years in penal colony. In Krasnoyarsk region, 27 JWs have criminal cases filed against them; five have been sentenced, including Andrey Stupnikov, currently serving a 6-year term in penal colony. (Source: JW website)

              – On the same day, in Yaroslavsky village, Primorsky (Maritime) region, police conducted searches in 12 homes, after which 70-year-old Boris Andreyev and 49-year-old Natalia Sharapova were placed in pre-trial detention – the former, for ‘organizing the activities of a prohibited organization’ i.e., JWs; the latter, for allegedly ‘recruiting participants’. On Oct. 12, another village resident, 37-year-old Anatoly Li, was also placed in detention until Oct. 28. This is reportedly the 17th criminal case against JWs in Primorsky region, where 12 believers have already been sentenced. (Source: JW website)

Oct. 11 – In Birobidzhan (Jewish autonomous region), regional court voided the suspended jail terms of Oleg Postnikov (5.5 years) and his wife Agnessa Postnikova (5 years) and remanded their case back to the lower court. They were sentenced in April of this year for ‘participation in an extremist organization’ and ‘recruitment of its members’. According to JWs, 19 criminal cases have been filed against their followers in this region; in 14 of these cases, sentences have already been in effect. (Source: JW website)


Oct. 10 – Mikhail Iosilevich, opposition activist from Nizhny Novgorod and former political prisoner, announced his departure from Russia along with his family. In September, he was released from a penal settlement where he was sent in May, after spending 15 months in between pre-trial detention and prohibition from leaving the town. In 2016, Iosilevich opened the first temple of the Flying Spaghetti Monster in Russia and next year managed to get it registered as a religious group. His troubles begam after he provided his church’s space for trainings of election observers. In 2020, he became a defendant in a criminal case that linked him to Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia, although this connection was reportedly due to a proofreading error in an online article. As Iosilevich wrote in his Telegram post last week, “for me, returning to Russia would be the same as going back to jail. It is evident that today anyone may be jailed for an online post or simply for no reason at all! … Russia, as a state bound by laws, does not exist any longer. … Conscience and sense of honor urge me to go and fight on the side of Ukraine. But I cannot do it. I don’t know how to kill people and would not be able to shoot into those with whom I just recently shared a jail, a town, or simply socialized. I am not a military man. But alas, there is nothing else left for us to do. …” (Source: Mikhail Iosilevich’s Telegram channel)

              –  On the same day in Naberezhnye Chelny (Republic of Tatarstan), the local office of Russia’s investigative committee charged 39-year-old Albert Mansurov with ‘disparaging the use of Russia’s Armed Forces’, a felony that carries up to 3 years of imprisonment. This is reportedly the first such criminal case in Tatarstan. In May, Mansurov was already charged with disparaging the army, but in an administrative case (an equivalent of a misdemeanor). Around the same time, he left Russia for the United Arab Emirates; in September, he was placed on a ‘wanted’ list. Both cases against him have been based on his publications in VKontakte. (Source: BIZNES Online)

Oct. 12 – A district court in Moscow fined Lyubov Sobol 10,000 RUB for alleged violation of the ‘foreign agents’ law. She is a lawyer, long-time supporter of Navalny, and a former candidate in the Moscow city and Russian state Dumas elections. Sobol has not been in Russia since August of last year. While abroad, she was placed on a ‘wanted’ list (in October); sentenced to 1.5 years of restriction of liberty and mandatory public works (in December); placed on the list of ‘terrorists and extremists’ (in January); officially branded a ‘foreign agent’ and ordered to be arrested for ‘taking part in an extremist community’ (in May); and charged with ‘spreading false information about the Army’ and ‘justifying terrorism’ (in August). (Sources: SOTAVision, OVD-Info)

Oct. 13 – Prokhor Protasov, a composer and former orchestra director from Kirov currently doing graduate studies in Canada, announced that Russian authorities had filed a criminal case against him. He is being charged with ‘spreading false reports’ about the Russian army, due to ‘political hatred’. Charges are based on his VKontakte posts about the Bucha massacre and Russia’s missile strike on the Kremenchug shopping mall. In August, police searched his home; relatives in Kirov have been summoned to interrogation as witnesses. His VKontakte page has been blocked at the request of Russia’s prosecutor-general; Protasov himself is on the ‘wanted’ list. He is said to believe that these reprisals are in connection with his study trips to the US and their funding with grants from the U.S. State Department. (Source: OVD-Info)

– On the same day, RFE/RL reported that Badma Byurchiev, its correspondent in Elista (Republic of Kalmykia), had left Russia and requested political asylum in Norway. In the past, Byurchiev was repeatedly charged with violations for his participation in street protests, including an action against the appointment of a former head of a secessionist government in Donetsk as mayor of Elista and an action in support of Alexey Navalny. In September of this year, Byurchiev was beaten up by unknown assailants; on Oct. 11, he was fined 30,000 RUB for ‘disparaging the army’. (Source: RFE/RL)

Oct. 14 – Nikita Botberg, a restaurant owner in Perm who was protesting against the war, temporarily left Russia after repeated pressure on him by law enforcement, his company’s sudden eviction from rented spaces, and violent attack by an unknown assailant who broke his nose. The attack followed his latest protest action of Oct. 1. Botberg is currently in Armenia for treatment and recovery but plans to go back in two weeks to his wife in Perm. (Source: Caucasian Knot)

Thank you for reading. We will always appreciate your feedback (via email to rcc-ara@rcc-amrusrights.org or via our Facebook page www.facebook.com/AmRusRights), as well as your moral and, not least, material support. Speaking of which, you are welcome to donate toward this project to our parent 501c3 tax-exempt organization, Russian-speaking Community Council, Inc. – either by check (to P.O.Box 578, New York NY 10040), or via PayPal, or via our Facebook donation button. See you again soon.

Project Director Dr. Dmitri Daniel Glinski and our project team

THE RUSSIA OF TOMORROW: Antiwar Resistance & Human Rights Defense Digest / Issue # 7, Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 2022

We are continuing the publication of our weekly digest of the Russian citizens’ struggle against the regime and its war. All the items in it are based on the original Russian-language sources and are hyperlinked to them. We seek to revive the tradition of the Soviet-era Chronicle of Current Events that was bringing international attention not just to the most famous and prominent dissidents but to the everyday resistance to oppression at the grassroots level of Soviet society. Our title – with tongue-in-cheek toward ‘Russia Today’, the powerhouse of the Kremlin’s global propaganda – reflects our belief in Vaclav Havel’s “power of the powerless”, including the long-term power of those Russian citizens, of many ethnicities and faiths, who are putting themselves in harm’s way to bring about a peaceful and less oppressive tomorrow for their country, for Ukraine, and for the rest of the world.

We invite you to join us on this journey by donating toward this project to our parent organization, Russian-speaking Community Council, Inc., via PayPal: https://bit.ly/3DlUxy1.


Sept. 26 – Russia’s southern district military court turned down the request of Rustem Murasov – a defendant in the ‘second Sebastopol’ group of four Crimean Tatars alleged to be Hizb ut-Tahrir followers – to replace pre-trial detention for the entire group to house arrest. Other defendants in the case are Zavur Abdullaev, Dzhebbar Bekirov, and Rustem Tairov. Abdullaev has a serious medical condition but reportedly is not provided with medical care; Bekirov has a disabled dependent son. In justifying his request, Murasov characterized the conditions in detention as ‘torturous’. The prosecution objected, claiming that once released defendants “may continue their terrorist activities” and that “there is no information about their health conditions in the file”. As requested by the prosecution, the court also extended the term of their detention from previously set to end on Oct. 23 to Jan. 23 of next year. (Source: Crimean Solidarity)


A. Public actions and reprisals: New cases

Dagestan. After massive protests on Sept. 25 in Makhachkala and several villages that was dispersed using tear gas and clubs, over 100 people were reportedly detained; around 30 criminal cases have been launched. Several protesters – including Adam Gadzhiev, Muhamma Magomedov, Sultan Akhmedkhanov, Magomed Ubaidullaev, Murad Aligadzhiev, and Isa Abdullaev – have been charged with using violence against law enforcement. Seven of them are represented by attorneys affiliated with OVD-Info, the leading Moscow-based police watchdog in the country. On Oct. 1, an attorney representing four defendants told the media that all those detained in the aftermath of the protests were severely beaten and had clear signs of violence. Also detained was Vladimir Sevrinovsky, a Russian journalist, photographer, and documentary filmmaker; he was covering the event for Meduza, the news portal based in Riga, Latvia, and listed by the Putin regime among ‘foreign agent media’. Sevrinovsky has been charged with ‘petty hooliganism’. Further, official media reported the detention of the administrators of antiwar Telegram channels; the authorities claimed these channels were set up “in the framework of a subversive action by Ukraine’s foreign ministry under CIA patronage”; ‘Morning of Dagestan’ and ‘Dagestani Basement’ Telegram channels denied the reports of their administrators’ detention. (Sources: State TV and 6Radio Broadcasting Company Dagestan; OVD-Info; ‘Novoe Delo’ Telegram channel)

Sept 26 – In Moscow, the day was marked by violent reprisals against participants of the ‘Mayakovsky readings’, a poetry reading performance that is held monthly on the last Sunday of the month next to Vladimir Mayakovsky’s monument. Its organizers declared that the performance held on Sept. 25th was explicitly directed against the mobilization. Those detained at the event included Nikolay Dayneko; he was charged with ‘participating in a public action that was not cleared in advance with the authorities’ and sentenced on Sept. 26 to a 20,000-rouble fine, after which he was immediately detained again. On Sept. 26, police also visited Artyom Kamardin, a poet and a participant in the readings; according to his attorney, during the search he was beaten to the point of a concussion, whereby emergency ambulance had to be called; later, Kamardin told the media that he and his girlfriend were beaten and tortured by the police, with elements of sexual violence. On Sept. 28, Dayneko, Kamardin, and Yegor Shtovba (another participant of the Mayakovsky readings) were charged with ‘inciting hatred with a threat of violence’, allegedly against the militaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk self-proclaimed republics and placed in pre-trial detention until Nov. 25. (Sources: Novaya Gazeta.Europe; Mediazona; ‘Vot Tak’ Telegram channel)

            –  On the same day in Ivanovo, prosecutors interrogated Olga Nazarenko, who is currently a ‘suspect’ in the case of ‘repeat disparagement of the military’. Nazarenko is a teacher in a pharmacy studies program at a local medical school. It is reported that she was subjected to a search in the workplace, during which the authorities seized two banners with antiwar, anti-Putin and ‘freedom for Navalny’ messages. Nazarenko took part in several antiwar protests; in March, she was sentenced to a 75,000-rouble fine for her solo antiwar protests; two months later, she was sentenced to 180 hours of compulsory public works for a street action in support of political prisoners. She is also listed as a witness in the case against Sergey Veselov (see below); in May, she was subjected to a house search in this connection. (Source: OVD-Info)

Sept. 27 – In Vladimir, district judge found Anton Ganyushkin guilty of ‘vandalism motivated by political/ideological hatred’ and sentenced him to 8 months of de facto house arrest, with additional restrictions. The charges stemmed from an anti-war graffiti that appeared in March of this year. (Source: Pavel Chikov’s Telegram channel).

                – In Ufa, authorities detained Fail Alsynov, a prominent environmental activist who in 2020 was among the leaders of the protests against industrial deforestation of Kushtau Hill, a natural landmark in the area; local commentators opined that he was detained because of his recent online post that was critical of the mobilization. On the next day, Alsynov was released by court which ordered police to redo the paperwork on his detention because of the ‘major flaws’ in it. (KushTau Online’ Telegram channel)

Sept. 29 – A protest action was held in Kyzyl, Tyva, an ethnic minority region bordering with Mongolia and widely viewed as one of the most politically passive areas in the country. The action was reportedly organized by women; they chanted ‘No to mobilization! No to genocide!” The rally was dispersed a few minutes after it started. At least 27 women were detained, including, according to published video, a woman with a child in a stroller; she was sentenced to a 10,000- rouble (c. $170) fine despite claiming that she was merely passing by and did not participate in the protest. (Sources: OVD-Info; RFE/RL-Siberia.Realities)

– On the same day, in Novorossiisk, Krasnodar region, Askhabali Alibekov, 51-year-old popular blogger known under the nickname ‘Wild Paratrooper’, was placed in pre-trial detention. Alibekov has been charged with repeat offense of ‘spreading false information’ about the military, which constitutes a felony. According to his wife, he was initially imposed a curfew, but after he refused to put on an electronic bracelet to track his movements, he was placed in pre-trial detention. Alibekov is a former commander of a detachment of Russia’s Black See Fleet. He first clashed with the authorities after an act of police violence against Chechen students in the city of Stavropol in which one of them died; Alibekov urged an investigation and for charges to be brought against police; instead, he ended up serving a jail term for ‘offending representatives of the authorities’. In 2018, he published a video address to Putin, charging him with concealing the real number of Russian casualties in the then-‘hybrid’ war in East Ukraine. After the publication of this video, Alibekov was fired from the navy and had his prior suspended sentence in an unrelated case replaced with a real term of three years in penal colony. (Sources: RFE/RL-Caucasus.Realities; OVD-Info)

– Also on Sept. 29, city court in Maikop, Republic of Adygea (bordering with Georgia), after a one-day trial, sentenced Elena Sumina, on charges of ‘spreading false reports’ about the military. The details of the case and the sentence are not known, and Sumina’s attorney declined comment. In this connection, ‘Setevye svobody’ [NetFreedoms] Telegram channel reported that this was the 11th sentence in such a case since the start of the invasion; there are currently at least 19 criminal cases of this nature pending before the courts, while another 75 cases are in the pre-trial stage. (Source: NetFreedoms)

– On the same day pro- and anti-Kremlin sources reported that Andrey Akimov, a lawyer, and environmental activist, was detained in Yaroslavl. A pro-war channel claimed that Akimov was detained because of his YouTube videos that encouraged antiwar protests. (Source: OVD-News)

Sept. 30 – In Penza, criminal charges were brought against Valentin Snegirev, an investigative blogger and anti-corruption activist, for his article published on Aug. 14, in which he questioned the funding sources for the payments to recruits from the region that had been fighting in Ukraine. Snegirev was summoned for interrogation but responded to the prosecutors that he was not going to be able to attend as he was staying in Israel. (Source: ‘Horizontal Russia’ Telegram channel)

B. Public actions and reprisals: Ongoing cases

Sept. 26 – A court in St. Petersburg sentenced Igor Maltsev (alias Egor Skorokhodov) to 3 years and 8 months behind the bars on charges of ‘hooliganism motivated by political hatred, for staging a performance in March of this year that involved the burning of an effigy in Russian military uniform. Maltsev, whose father is reportedly a Chechnya war veteran with post-traumatic syndrome, repeatedly took part in antiwar actions. He expressed his regrets that his actions may have been viewed as offensive. (Source: Sotavision)

Sept. 27 – In Barnaul, court extended the pre-trial detention of Maria Ponomaryova, reporter of RusNews agency, for another six months, until March 27 of next year. As discussed in a previous issue of this digest, Ponomaryova attempted suicide while in detention. (Source: RusNews)

Sept. 28 – In St. Petersburg, the pretrial detention of Aleksandra (Sasha) Skochilenko was also extended, until Nov. 1. She has been charged with ‘spreading false reports about the army motivated by political hatred’; the charges stem from the five stickers with information about civilian casualties in Ukraine that Skochilenko reportedly put in the place of price tags at a local food store. She has been in detention since April and suffered from the inability to comply with her medically prescribed dietary restrictions until this issue was resolved after multiple interventions by her attorney. (Sources: ‘Free Sasha Skochilenko’ Telegram channel; OVD-Info)

               – In Shuya, Ivanovo region, Sergey Veselov was officially charged with repeat offense of ‘disparaging the army’. As discussed in the previous issues of this digest, Veselov was charged for the first time in July, for the videos on his YouTube channel which had 16 subscribers at the time. The second batch of charges was brought against him in September, based on his remarks at the appeals court hearing on his first case. In these remarks, which he subsequently posted on YouTube, Veselov condemned the invasion of Ukraine. Beside these criminal charges, he was also charged in March with ‘vandalism’, for his antiwar graffiti on the wall of the city administration headquarters. Veselov has not been placed in detention but is currently under restrictions imposed by the court on his activities. (Source: OVD-Info)

– In Pushkino, district court fined Aleksandr Makhankov, leader of the local branch of the Yabloko Party and a former city council candidate, for 30,000 roubles, on charges of ‘disparaging the army’. The charges stemmed from his online comments that were interpreted by prosecution as critical of Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Makhankov claimed that these were “general musings” and that the real purpose of the charges against him was to prevent him from running for office. (Source: Yabloko)

Sept. 29 – A district court in St. Petersburg issued a ‘wanted’ alert for Boris Romanov, a defendant charged with ‘spreading false reports’ about the military, reports that were allegedly ‘motivated by political hatred’, which is an aggravating circumstance under the current law. Romanov was initially detained in May; the charges against him stemmed from an online video in which a man who looked like him congratulated the session of a local neighborhood council with ‘Ukraine’s victory in the war’. After two months in pre-trial detention, the court released him but prohibited him from engaging in various activities. The charges against him carry up to 10 years in jail. In the past few days, he did not show up at two of the court hearings, and his attorney stated that she did not know of his whereabouts. The court that issued the ‘wanted’ notice also ordered him to be placed once again in detention. (Sources: ZAKS, OVD-Info)

Sept. 30 – Also in St. Petersburg, prosecutors demanded for the youth antiwar ‘Spring’ [Vesna] movement to be declared extremist. Vesna activists called for antiwar protests in the first days of the invasion; in May, they were charged with ‘incitement of unlawful activities’, with subsequent additional charge of ‘encouraging mass disturbances. Six activists, including Evgeny Zateev, Valentin Khoroshenin, Angelina Roshchupko and Timofey Vaskin, have been under a court-ordered curfew and a ban on using regular mail and internet, except for emergencies, communicating with other activists and attending public events. Regarding Zateev and Khoroshenin, a Moscow district court extended these restrictions, also on Sept. 26, until Dec. 11. Four activists, including Vesna’s founder Bogdan Litvin, as well as Ivan Drobotov, Roman Maksimov, and Ekaterina Goncharova, have left Russia. The organization has been in existence since 2013 and is mainly based in St. Petersburg, with a few branches around the country. (Sources: Vesna; RIA Novosti)

– In Petrozavodsk, Karelia’s supreme court denied the appeal of Dmitry Rybakov, city council member from the liberal Yabloko Party and environmental activist, regarding the 30,000-rouble fine that was imposed on him by city court for ‘disparaging the army’. Rybakov was fined for his online post that did not even mention the military. (Source: Yabloko)

Oct. 1 – Marina Ovsyannikova, the former anchor of Russia’s official TV Channel One who became world-famous for her antiwar performance in the studio that was broadcasted live, reportedly escaped with her daughter from house arrest. According to her ex-husband, her and her daughter’s whereabouts were unknown. (Source: Zhivaya Kuban’ Telegram channel)

            –  On the same day, Renat Salimov, an antiwar activist in Kazan, told the media that local authorities denied his request to hold a 10-person rally “in protest against the war in Ukraine”. The authorities also reportedly threatened him with charges of ‘disparaging the army’. (Source: ‘Astra’ Telegram channel)

            – In Khabarovsk, Nikolay Zodchii, a local activist, was detained during his solo street action with a banner that said: “Ukraine is not Russia”. (Source: Sota Vision Media)

C. Burnings of draft facilities and other government buildings

Sept. 26 – In Uryupinsk, Volgograd region, around 4 am, Molotov cocktail was thrown into the army draft station. The arsonist, Mikhail Filatov, was detained. Filatov, 35, is reported to have been a supporter of Russia’s radical rightwing nationalist groups. (Source: MolokoNews’ Telegram channel)

– In Tarusa, Kaluga region, Andrey Lysenkov, a local activist subjected to house search a few days earlier, was summoned to court, although the charges against him are still unclear; on the same day, Kaluzhskie Novosti, a local paper, reported of an arson attempt at the Tarusa district draft station. (Source: OVD-Info)

– On the same day in Nizhny Novgorod, a court released Artyom Lebedev, detained on Sept. 23 on suspicion of setting a draft station on fire on Sept. 21. Lebedev was released for lack of sufficient evidence but remains under the prohibition from leaving the city. (Source: OVD-Info)

– In St. Petersburg, Viktor Melnikov, a 20-year-old freshman college student, was placed in detention for allegedly setting a vacant ministry of defense property on fire in the town of Lomonosov. The damaged building has ‘draft station’ plaque on its doors; however, the actual station is in the adjacent building. (Source: Fontanka)

Sept. 27 – in Togliatti, Samara region, 35-year-old Pavel Korshunov was placed in pre-trial detention on charges of allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail into the mayor’s office on Sept. 22. Korshunov is said to have worked as a sales agent or a contractor of a tour company. (SHOT’ and Horizontal Russia’ Telegram channels)

Sept. 29 – In Zimovniki, Rostov region, a resident set the local administration’s headquarters on fire. The detained arsonist is reportedly 37 years old; his name has not been disclosed. (Sources: Donnews, Bloknot-Rostov)

– In Ukhta, Komi, Vladislav Kraval was charged with falsely reporting a would-be arson at the local draft station, allegedly by calling the police on Sept. 25. Kraval was previously protesting the war. He is currently reported to be under arrest for failing to comply with a court order that sentenced him to mandatory public works. (Source: OVD-Info)

– In Chernyakhovsk, Kaliningrad region, a city court ordered the arrest of a man on suspicion of setting up a local draft station on fire on Sept. 25. He was reportedly detained on the next day based on witness testimonies. Only the initial of the defendant’s last name, Ch., is known. The term of his pre-trial detention is set until Nov. 25. (Source: Chernyakhovsk city court website)

Sept. 29-30 – In Novosibirsk, an attempted arson took place at the local draft station. A suspect was reportedly detained by the authorities. On the next day, the Federal Security Service announced that a 23-year-old man, reportedly unemployed, was charged with “recruiting, on assignment from foreign customers, would-be perpetrators of planned arsons of army draft stations” in the region. The young man, whose name has not been disclosed, was charged with ‘attempt to organize terrorist acts’ and placed in pre-trial detention for an initial 2-month term. It is not clear whether this is the same person as the one that was detained the day before in connection with the actual arson at the draft station. (Sources: Tayga-Info, ‘Novosibir’ Telegram channel)

Oct 1 – A draft station was put on fire in Kyzyl, Tyva, one of the traditionally most low-key and politically stable ethnic minority regions. No arrests have been reported as of today. (Source: ‘Astra’ Telegram channel)


Sept. 26 – Yury Dmitriev, 66-year-old researcher of Stalin’s mass political terror in Karelia, who is serving his 15-year term in hard labor penal colony in Mordovia, was ordered, for the third time in 10 days, to an isolation ward for his alleged transgressions. The official reasons given for these penalties include not saying hello to an administrator of the colony according to the protocol and not placing his hands behind his back when required. Memorial Society reports that, despite his harsh conditions, Dmitriev continues his research and recently published a second volume of his work on the mass executions in Karelia’s Sandarmokh in 1937-38. Dmitriev was sentenced on charges of sexual violence toward his adopted daughter who was a schoolchild at the time; the charges were assessed by the international human rights community as being fabricated; Memorial and several other organizations recognize Dmitriev as a political prisoner. (Source: Memorial Society)

Sept. 27 – In Samara, a district court ordered to seven local activists to pay a total of 435,000 roubles (c. $7,500) in ‘costs’ incurred by the local police during their protest rallies against the arrest of Alexey Navalny in January 2021. The defendants that were sued by the police for this amount include Sergey Podsytnik, editor of ‘Protokol Samara’ Telegram channel; Marina Evdokimova and Yegor Alasheyev, both former heads of the local branch of the Navalny movement; and activists Ilya Yudin, Mikhail Nikolaev, Viktor Sanzhenakov, and Vadim Sheremetev. (Source: Protokol Samara’)

Sept. 29 – In Arkhangelsk, at the court hearings in the case of Ruslan Akhmetshin, prosecutors asked for a 3-year term for him in a colony-type settlement. They also asked the court to prohibit him from administering websites for five years, citing his “popularity and the number of subscribers that may enable himto influence public opinion”. Akhmetshin, a former photographer of the local branch of Alexey Navalny’s movement, is charged with ‘exonerating Nazism’, based on his online comments in which he criticized Russia’s official Victory Day parades and, in the words of his indictment, “spread an intentionally false claim about the Soviet Union’s involvement in the unleashing of World War II”. Akhmetshin claims that his guilt has not been proven and his comments have been “misunderstood”. Initially, the court imposed restrictions on his activities; in May, he tried to leave the country to Armenia but was stopped at the airport, after which he was placed in detention. He is also listed as a witness in the case involving Navalny’s organizations. Further, he is one of 10 defendants in the lawsuit by the local police demanding a total of 766,184 roubles (over $13,000, i.e., $1,300 per person) from these activists for the ‘costs’ incurred by their protest actions against the arrest of Navalny in January 2021. (Sources: Sota Project; OVD-Info)


Among the over 200,000 people who either left Russia over the past week or were on their way out, let us mention the following individuals:

Leonid Gozman, a prominent right-of-center political activist and a longtime associate of Anatoly Chubays, flew from the country on Sept. 29, followed by his wife Marina. Prior to that, he served two consecutive 15-day jail terms for his online publications dating back to 2013 and 2020, in which he compared the Soviet Union unfavorably to the Nazi Germany. The law that criminalizes such comparisons was passed in 2021 but was applied to Gozman retroactively. As Gozman stated, he “did not want to leave” but “was placed in a situation whereby he would either leave the country upon leaving the detention center, or else would die in jail.” “I withstood this for as long as I could, and consider myself to be in exile,” said the 72-year-old Gozman. (Source: RFE/RL)

Andrey Zubov, a prominent historian and another right-of-center politician, member of the leadership of the near-defunct People’s Freedom Party (PARNAS) that was co-founded by the late Boris Nemtsov, left Russia on Oct. 1. According to his Facebook post, Zubov crossed Russia’s border with Finland “at the last moment before it was shut down”. He is heading to Brno, Czech Republic, where he was invited to lecture at a local university. In his own words, “it is very painful for me to take this step. I hope this will be for a short time. … I will return already to a new Russia.” (Source: Zubov’s Facebook page)

Oleg Mandrykin, an environmental activist from Severodvinsk, Arkhangelsk region, also left Russia on Oct. 1. Formerly director of a real estate agency, he became one of the leaders of the protest movement against the construction of a trash site at the Shies station where waste from Moscow was reportedly going to be stored. In 2020 a local environmental coalition put him forward as a gubernatorial candidate, but he was denied registration. Last year, he ran for the Duma and finished second after the official pro-Putin United Russia candidate. (Source: Sota Project)

This is all for today. Your feedback (via email to rcc-ara@rcc-amrusrights.org or via our Facebook page www.facebook.com/AmRusRights), moral and not least material support are always welcome. See you again next week.

Project Director Dr. Dmitri Daniel Glinski and our project team

PRESS RELEASE: ARA Rallies Supporters In 6 US Cities For The Russian-Ukrainian Peace Actions


 Press Contact: Natalya Petroff

Phone: 917 288 0722E-mail: communications@rccmb.org


September 22, 2014, New York City-Washington-Los Angeles-San Francisco-Seattle-Houston 


Association Rallies Friends & Supporters In Six US Cities

For Joint Russian-Ukrainian Peace Actions  

In Solidarity With The Russian Peace March

     On Sunday, September 21, American Russian-Speaking Association for Civil & Human Rights (ARA), jointly with other organizations and independent activists, brought hundreds of its friends and supporters into the streets of New York City, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Houston for the joint Russian-Ukrainian actions of solidarity with the Russians’ Peace March against the Putin regime’s military interference in Ukraine. The Association also provided media and information support for the seventh rally, in Boston, which was held by the Ukrainian community.

“Ukrainians and Russians have a rich shared history, including their joint struggle for human rights and democracy in the former Soviet Union, which is often overlooked,” said Lyuba Murzhenko, Vice President of Russian-Speaking Community Council of Manhattan and the Bronx and a participant of the Soviet dissident movement in the 1970s-1980s. “Today, tens of thousands of Russians have hit the streets in over 40 cities in Russia and throughout the diaspora, protesting against the Kremlin’s assault upon their closest neighbor. Putin’s war is not their war, even while many in Russia have been brainwashed or simply have to put up with the regime in order to survive. The struggle for a peaceful, democratic Russia and a secure Ukraine is hard, but we’re in it together, and we shall prevail.”

“I proudly stand with American Russian-Speaking Association for Civil and Human Rights and other participants in today’s rallies in opposing the Russian government’s aggression against Ukraine,” said Kirill Reznik, Delegate of Maryland State Assembly, in his written message. “The Russian-speaking community in the United States, and I, as its member as well as the first Ukrainian-born American legislator, understand that peaceful cooperation is the only way to achieve economic, political, and social prosperity.  We oppose the actions of Mr. Putin and his separatists in Eastern Ukraine and urge the United States Government, as well as all of the governments of Europe, to take every action necessary to bring peace and stability back to the region.”

“As Russian-Americans, we cannot be silent when the present Russian government intervenes militarily in Ukraine’s affairs, while continuing to suppress freedoms in Russia, and transforms it into a pariah state,” said Dmitri Glinski, ARA’s Co-Chair of the Board. “We have come here to affirm our vision of a future peaceful, democratic Russia that respects the rights of its own and other people, is a respected member of the community of democratic nations, and asserts itself by the power of its ideas, science, technology, and the arts, not by military power. This is the vision upon which Russian Federation was built in 1990-1991, and we stand in solidarity with those Russians who are rallying today in Russia and around the world in support of this vision.”



At the Russian Mission to the UN in New York City:

NYC rally for VNS

 Photo by Leonid Aptekar

At the Peace March in Washington DC:

 Photo by Vyacheslav Revin


Peace Rally at the Federal Building in Los Angeles:

 Photo by Igor Kokarev


At the Russian Consulate in San Francisco:

 Photo by Iva Demchuk


At the Russian Consulate in Seattle:

 Photo by Lyudmila Dovgan


 At the Russian Consulate in Houston:

Photo by Natalya Fisyak

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