Who is Roman Nasryev?
On 11 October 2022, amidst the recently announced military mobilization, Roman Nasryev and his friend Alexei Nuriyev broke a window on the first floor of the municipal administration building in the town of Bakal in the Chelyabinsk Region and threw Molotov cocktails into it. There was a military enlistment office in the building.
Local pro-government media outlets dubbed the young men “the rockers who threw Molotov cocktails at city hall.”
Initially, Nasryev and Nuriyev were charged with “destroying or damaging property” (per Article 167.2 of the Russian Federal Criminal Code). Later, however, after the FSB had homed in on the case, the charge was revised to “committing a terrorist act” (per Article 205.2 of the Criminal Code).
Roman and Alexei were also later accused of “undergoing training in order to carry out terrorist activities” (per Article 205.3 of the Criminal Code).
Law enforcement claimed that the accused “took courses on carrying out terrorist activities via the Internet and by phone.” In response to such a strange and dubious claim, a subscriber to one of the Telegram channels ironically quipped, “Apparently, they did not train well. Distance learning is still not as good as in-person instruction.”
Roman and Alexei face from fifteen to thirty years of imprisonment or life in prison if convicted as charged. To date, these are the most serious charges brought against suspects or defendants in anti-war arson cases.
On October 21, Rosfinmonitoring added Nuriyev and Nasryev to its list of “extremists and terrorists.”
27-year-old Roman Nasryev worked as a driver in the Interior Ministry’s extra-departmental security guard service (now overseen by the Russian National Guard). He and Nuriyev played in the Bakal rock band Room 32. Relatives tell us that he liked to learn to play musical instruments on his own, including guitar, mouth harp, harmonica, dombra, and flute. Roman’s other hobbies were sports, especially running and calisthenics, skiing, writing poetry, cars, and fishing.
Both of the accused men hold anti-war views. Politically, Nasryev describes himself as a libertarian. (Earlier, we mistakenly wrote that he held left-wing views.) Roman explains that he did what he did to protest the war in Ukraine and the military mobilization.
Roman is married and has two children, a four-year-old daughter and a son, who was born in November, when Roman was already in remand prison.
On January 27, the young men’s remand in custody was extended for six months, until 4 August 2023. Both prisoners of conscience are currently being held at Pretrial Detention Center No. 1 in Chelyabinsk. Nasryev is being held in solitary confinement.
You can support Roman by sending him a letter or parcel. (There is no limit on the number of parcels inmates at the pretrial detention center can receive). Letters not only cheer up inmates and strengthen their spirits, but also show the security forces that people are paying keen attention to what happens to them, and this can prevent the security forces from engaging in lawlessness and torture.
You can also start a correspondence with Roman — his wide-ranging interests are listed above.
Address for letters and parcels:
Nasryev Roman Raifovich (born 1995) 53 ul. Rossiyskaya, SIZO-1 Chelyabinsk 456006 Russian Federation
(It is also possible to send emails to inmates via the Zonatelecom service.)
Solidarity Zone supports Roman Nasryev.
Source: Solidarity Zone (Facebook), 31 January 2023. Translated by Thomas Campbell. People living outside Russia will not be able to use the Zonatelecom service. It is also impossible or nearly impossible to send parcels to Russian detention facilities from abroad. In many cases, however, you can send letters (which must be written in Russian or translated into Russian) via the free, volunteer-run service RosUznik. As of this writing, Mr. Nasryev has not appeared on their list of supported addressees. You can also ask me (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance and advice in sending letters to Russian political prisoners.