19-year-old Valeria Zotova was detained in the wee hours of February 17. She is accused of planning to set fire to a warehouse from which supplies are sent to military personnel involved in the war against Ukraine. According to the security forces, the young woman has been charged with committing a “terrorist act” (per Article 205 of the Russian Federal Criminal Code).
You can support Valeria Zotova right now by writing her a letter!
Address for letters:
Zotova Valeria Igorevna (born 2003)
53 ul. Portovaya nab., SIZO-1
Yaroslavl 150001 Russian Federation
(It is possible to send letters via the electronic services FSIN-Pismo and Zonatelecom.)
Source: Solidarity Zone (Facebook), 21 February 2023. Translated by the Russian Reader. Thanks to Sergey Ogurtsov for the heads-up. People living outside Russia will find it difficult or impossible to use the FSIN-Pismo and Zonatelecom services. 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, however, Ms. Zotova 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.
The Yaroslavl District Court has remanded in custody 19-year-old Valeria Zotova, accused of attempted terrorism (per Article 30.3 and Article 205.1 of the Russian Federal Criminal Code), reports TASS, citing the press service of the Yaroslavl Regional Court.
A day earlier, Zotova’s mother told OVD Info that her daughter had left the house on the evening of February 16, saying that she was going for a walk with friends, but did not return home. At about one o’clock in the morning, security forces came to search the Zotov home. The officers did not identify themselves and did not state the grounds for their investigation.
The young woman was taken to Yaroslavl’s Pretrial Detention Center No. 1. On February 20, a Telegram channel linked to the local security forces posted a video of Zotova’s arrest. The report said that she had been charged with terrorism (per Article 205.1 of the Criminal Code). If convicted on this charge, she could face between ten and fifteen years in prison.
Following the footage of the detention, a “confession” appears on the video: Valeria Zotova says that she transmitted information, coordinates and photos of a building for a monetary reward. According to her, [the people who paid her the money] “wanted to set fire to this building,” in which “parcels for the mobilized are collected and sent to Donbas.”
Svetlana Zotova said that in October of last year she herself had been fined for “discrediting” the army (per Article 20.3.3 of the Administrative Offenses Code) over a “No war” message, graffitied on a local kiosk. During the search, the security forces threatened to make her a suspect in her daughter’s case, claiming that she had been involved in anti-war rallies. The woman stated that she was not involved in anti-war protests, despite her views. Before the invasion of Ukraine, she had picketed in support of politician Alexei Navalny and the Khabarovsk protesters.
Source: “Court in Yaroslavl remands 19-year-old woman in custody for two months on terrorism charges for ‘attempted arson’ of collection point for the mobilized,” Current Time, 22 February 2023. Translated by the Russian Reader