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Second Digest of Political Repressions in Russia.

This is WAW’s second instalment in a series of digests of acts of political repression in the Russian Federation since the beginning of the war. This instalment comes from Memorial's Telegram Channel “Support for Political Prisoners”

  • In Moscow, Pskov, Ivanovo, Perm and Chelyabinsk, members of the Golos movement, which supports free and fair elections in Russia, were house-searched in connection with a case that is being brought against an activist from Ivanovo, Mikhail Gusev. Gusev staged an anti-war protest as an individual, but Golos members around the country have been implicated in investigations by Russia’s security forces. Gusev is accused of discrediting the army.

  • Mikhail Afanasyev, editor of the internet publication “Novy Fokus”, has had his post-arrest detention period extended by two months. He is accused of publishing misleading information about the Russian armed forces.

  • Opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza has been charged with treason. This is the third criminal case taken against the politician. He is being charged for criticising the Russian government in speeches to international organisations.

  • In St Petersburg, Nikolai Vorotnyov has been sentenced to a year in prison for vandalism. His crime was to paint blue and yellow stripes (depicting the Ukrainian flag) on cannons that stand near the Military History Museum.

  • In Petrozavodsk, 77-year old Tatyana Savinkina has been charged for a second time with “repeatedly discrediting” the Russian army.

  • In Moscow, Nikolai Daineko has been charged with incitement to hatred and threatening violence for his involvement in a poetry group called “Readings from Maykovsky”.

  • Artyom Kamardin, another defendant in the “Readings from Mayakovsky” case, was charged with inciting hatred with the threat of violence. He awaits sentence at a pre-trial detention centre.

  • In Nizhny Novgorod an unnamed teacher and photographer has been charged with “repeatedly discrediting” the Russian military.

  • In Mosow L. Tolmacheva has been charged with spreading “misleading information” about the Russian Army.

  • In Krasnoyarsk, a 23-year-old was arrested. He is suspected of having set fire to a military registration and enlistment office. He is reportedly a supporter of the Artpodgotovka group.

  • In Sevastapol, Three members of the Jehovah's Witnesses have received six-year prison sentences. On October 6, the Nakhimovsky District Court of Sevastopol found Yevgeny Zhukov, Vladimir Maladyka and Vladimir Sakada guilty of participating in the “activities of an extremist organisation”. In Russia, the denomination of Jehovah's Witnesses is classified as an "extremist organisation".

  • The outspoken opposition politician, Ilya Yashin, has been held in detention since July for publishing “misleading” information about the Russian army. He was charged last week and is awaiting his sentence.

  • In the Crimean city of Kerch, a court, in absentia, has ordered Ilya Gantsevsky to be detained for posting “misleading” information about the Russian military on his Instagram account.

  • In the city of Dzerzhinsk a house raid was carried out on the home of Andrei Rudoy because of an anti-war post that was found on a social media group of which he is the administrator. A case is being brought against him for “discrediting” the Russian army.

  • In the city of Tver, a criminal case for “extremism” has been brought against an individual who posted comments under a social media post about an anti-mobilisation protest.

  • The state council in Russian-occupied Crimea has officially recognised the patriotic Ukrainian song “Chervona Kalina” (Red Viburnum) as extremist.

Since February 24, the first day of Russia’s war in Ukraine, residents of Russian cities have taken part in anti-war protests on the streets and online. Anti-war sentiments expressed in any form are now punishable by criminal prosecution. There are currently 290 people awaiting criminal convictions for protesting against the war in Ukraine.

The Russian government under Putin has taken official measures to criminalise the dissemination of anti-war sentiments. In March 2022 a new law against “public actions aimed at discrediting the armed forces of the Russian Federation'' was introduced to the criminal code. Anyone found making anti-war speeches or disseminating information about the war from sources outside the Russian Federation can be convicted and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

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