Radio Free Vologda: The Case of Vladimir Rumyantsev

Vladimir Rumyantsev, in the cage at Vologda City Court. Image courtesy of BBC Russian Service via SOTA

Vladimir Rumyantsev, a former factory boiler plant stoker from Vologda, has been sentenced to three years in prison. He was found guilty of violating the article [in the Russian criminal code] on disseminating “fake news” about the Russian army. He had his own underground radio station on which he spoke out against the war.

The criminal charges against the 61-year-old man were made public on July 14. The next day, the court remanded him in custody to a pretrial detention center. On December 20, in a hearing at the Vologda City Court, the prosecutor requested that Rumyantsev be sentenced to six years in a penal colony.

The grounds for the criminal case were Rumyantsev’s posts on social media, as well as the fact that the man was spreading information about the war in Ukraine via his amateur radio station.

The podcast Hello, You’re A Foreign Agent, produced by journalists Sonya Groysman and Olga Churakova, described Rumyantsev as a music lover, local amateur historian, and creator of the video blog Vovan Media. The man worked for twenty years as a boiler plant stoker at a local machine tool factory, and after its closure, as a municipal trolleybus conductor.

His underground radio station operated on transmitters purchased on AliExpress. Rumyantsev built it eight years ago and regularly went on the air, mostly playing Soviet hits. After the outbreak of the war, he began to pay more attention to political topics. In the summer, he was the first person in Vologda charged with disseminating “fake news” about the Russian army.

Rumyantsev pleaded not guilty to the charges. It is not known whether his radio station had listeners and how many listeners it did have, according to Groysman’s special report on TV Rain [see below].

The article on dissemination of “fake news” about the military, as prompted by political hatred (Article 207.3.2.d of the Russian Federal Criminal Code), which Rumyantsev was accused of violating, stipulates a maximum punishment of ten years in prison.

Previously, long prison sentences for violating this article were handed down to Alexei Gorinov, a deputy of the Krasnoselsky municipal district in Moscow, and opposition politician Ilya Yashin. They were sentenced to seven years and eight and a half years in prison, respectively.

Source: “Stoker from Vologda sentenced to three years for anti-war radio,” BBC News Russian Service, 22 December 2022. Thanks to MV for the heads-up. Translated by TRR


Vologda boiler plant stoker Vladimir Rumyantsev was found guilty of disseminating “fake news” about the army on the pacifist radio station he created. 61-year-old Rumyantsev faces up to six years in a medium security penal colony. According to the investigation, and now the trial court, Rumyantsev published reposts about the SMO in Ukraine on his VK page, and also broadcast audio reports that the Investigative Committee considers “fake news” about the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation at a frequency of 91.7 MHz.

Source: Sotavision (YouTube), 22 December 2022 (in Russian). Annotation translated by TRR


From the very beginning of the war in Ukraine, the Russian authorities have been waging another war — against Russian citizens who do not support the invasion. In the seven months since the laws virtually establishing wartime censorship were adopted, more than four thousand charges have been filed for alleged violations of the law against “discrediting” the army. According to OVD Info, the defendants in these criminal cases are 116 people whose stories usually warrant only a couple of lines in the news. Sonya Groysman’s film is about these people, who despite everything have remained in Russia.

Inside:

00:00 Intro

01:36 The story of Vladimir Rumyantsev’s underground radio station in Vologda

08:12 “We have more than 4,000 court rulings: people are being punished for voicing their opinions”

10:23 Vitaly Gotra: 691,000 rubles in fines for anti-war leaflets

15:44 Actress Galina Borisova: “I painted the slogan ‘No war!’ all over the stairwells”

22:26 Who is being persecuted in Russia for “discrediting the deployment of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation” and how

23:40 Zaurbek Zhambekov: two years probation for removing a Z sticker from a car

28:22 Why are so many resources being wasted on persecuting people for their words?

29:02 Sasha Skochilenko: six months in remand prison for anti-war price tags

33:59 Philippenzo: attacked for anti-war art

37:22 How Vitaly Gotra was left without a job for his anti-war position

39:36 How Vladimir Rumyantsev built an underground radio station and broadcast about the war

45:01 “It seems it is considered bad form to talk about the war”

52:55 “Rumyantsev gets too many letters”: how people on the outside support people accused of “spreading fake news”

55:00 “Now everyone is living in fear that a bomb will be planted”

55:43 Galina Borisova: “I will pay the fine using money I set aside for my funeral”

We thank Caucasian Knot and OVD Info for their assistance in making this report.

[…]

Support Sasha Skochilenko: https://skochilenko.ru

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#partisans#wаr#tvrain

Source: TV Rain (YouTube), 10 October 2022 (in Russian). Annotation translated by TRR

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