February 10, 2022
The sudden onset of winter has brought Petersburg to a state of ruin. The number of people crippled by black ice on pavements and ice floes falling from roofs is comparable to the number of victims of an international military conflict of medium intensity somewhere in Africa, and no terrorists could dream of having such an impact. I won’t even mention the regional authorities, whose only real task has long been to ensure “correct” election results, especially federal ones, but on occasion their own local elections as well. As for the federal authorities, they are even less interested in local problems. They prefer to spend hundreds of millions every day to senselessly drive tanks and other equipment along the southwestern borders. Geopolitical fantasies warm the soul, and their concern about security is quite sincere, because security for them is tantamount to maintaining power. The broken legs and broken heads of deadbeats are not included in this concept of security. Let them watch TV in a cast and rejoice in the country’s greatness, the doormats [terpily].
Screenshot from r/DoesNotTranslate
February 10, 2022
A few sad takeaways from today.
A monstrous sentence was handed down to 15-year-old Nikita Uvarov: 5 years in prison for computer games.
In Chechnya, Zarema Musayeva, the wife of a federal judge, who was abducted from her home in Nizhny Novgorod, was denied a transfer to house arrest: she has been left in remand prison until April 1.
The arrest of journalist Ivan Safronov, who has never been told what kind of “high treason” he committed and what “state secrets” he gave out (secrets to which he never had access) had his arrest extended until April 7.
Ill and in need of medical care, Sergei Zuyev, the rector of the Shaninka [Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences], was transferred from the medical unit of the capital’s Matrosskaya Tishina remand prison to a gen pop cell.
No, we can’t change these thing now. Just like we can’t change many other things.
But when change happens — and it certainly will happen — we can refuse to forget or forgive these things.
No matter how often people tell us “we were ordered”, “we were forced,” “we were low on the totem pole,” “we had families, children, and mortgages”, and, more generally, “well, you understand…,” our answer will be, “No, we don’t understand.”
Excerpt from an email that a friend in Petersburg sent me this morning:
In fact, I haven’t fully recovered yet, although it all started three weeks ago, apparently, and now [I’m suffering] the consequences of the fact that I blamed the initial symptoms on fatigue and ran through snowdrifts until I fell down with a temperature around 40; only then did I realize that this was it. It was right at this time that the medical system collapsed. It’s true that everyone is sick. I left the house [for the first time] a couple of days ago: there [were] five times fewer people on the streets and in the shops than usual, and a couple of weeks ago everyone was coughing and sneezing everywhere, without masks mostly, I won’t even mention vaccinations. Basically, I highly recommend not getting sick with this thing, if possible.
All three texts translated by the Russian Reader
Russian Teenager Gets Five Years In Prison In Minecraft ‘Terrorism’ Case
February 10, 2022
KANSK, Russia — A court in Siberia has sentenced a 16-year-old boy to five years in prison in a high-profile terrorism case prompted by plans he had with two friends to add the building of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) to the popular video game Minecraft to allow players to blow it up.
The First Eastern District Military Court in the Krasnoyarsk region sentenced Nikita Uvarov on February 10 after finding him guilty of illegal weapons possession and passing through training for implementation of a terrorist act, charges he has rejected since his arrest in fall 2020.
Two other defendants in the case were convicted of illegal weapons possession and handed suspended prison terms of three years and four years, Vladimir Ilkov, the lawyer for one of the two other defendants, told RFE/RL.
Prosecutors had sought nine years in prison for Uvarov and six years in prison for the other defendants.
The three boys were 14 when they were arrested in 2020 while distributing leaflets to support Azat Miftakhov, a mathematician, who was in custody at the time and later sentenced to six years in prison in January 2021 on terrorism charges that he and his supporters called politically motivated.
After their arrest, investigators confiscated their telephones and said later they found chats in the phone that “had proven” that the trio planned to add the FSB building to the Minecraft game and blow it up there.
The investigators also said that the boys criticized the FSB in the chats, read banned books, fabricated firecrackers, and blew them up in abandoned buildings in their native city of Kansk.
Uvarov refused to cooperate with investigators and spent 11 months in pretrial detention before he was released last year to finish the ninth grade at school, while his two co-defendants pleaded guilty and fully cooperated with the investigation.
In his final statement at the trial on February 9, Uvarov reiterated his previous comments rejecting the charges and added that if he is imprisoned, he “will serve the sentence with a clean conscience and dignity.”
“It was painful for me to see how my country oppresses people, civil rights activists, who want the best for the country and stand for its well-being. Now, unfortunately, I am experiencing myself the despotism of the unfair collaborators of the system,” Uvarov said.
Image credit: screenshot of a Google News search for “Minecraft,” February 10, 2022
February 10, 2022
It turns out that the joke about a pizza courier who arrives faster than the ambulance is not a joke. Yesterday, it took the ambulance two hours to get to me: I think that was very fast.
I get the feeling that, like organs in a body with terminal cancer, all services in the city are failing. The doctor has got sick, the janitor has been killed by a block of ice. It’s like we’re inside the quiet apocalypse from the movie Songs from the Second Floor.
And yet, I know people who, although they are probably infected (“oh, I only have a sore throat”), continue to ride the subway. And I know people whose ordeal with omicron has not been “three days on the couch and that’s it,” but has been quite hard.
I would like to say to people from the first category that they (and/or their employers) are fucked in the head — no matter what the assholes themselves say.
This text was added two hours after the original post. Translated by the Russian Reader