Spring Fundraiser for Political Prisoner Viktor Filinkov

Viktor Filinkov

💫 Fundraiser for continuing Viktor “Vitya” Filinkov’s campaign against the FSIN, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service!

I haven’t written here for a long time generally and about Vitya in particular. We haven’t seen each other for almost two months. That’s an awfully long time, and I miss him terribly. Soon I will fly back to Orenburg and tell you how Vitya is doing, but after meeting with him.

In the meantime, I’ll tell you about the money, my favorite topic, because there is a constant need for it and it is constantly running out.

Vitya is now “painting the town red” on his own money. Recently, I got hold of 100 thousand rubles from his bank account, which Vitya had earned before he was sent down and which were blocked because he is a “terrorist.” I couldn’t get my hands on the other 70 thousand. They are frozen until Vitya is removed from the registry of “terrorists.”

Those 100 thousand rubles have really come in handy. I am now using them to pay for trips and lawyer’s fees. In 2023, we have already spent 190 thousand rubles on tickets and lawyer’s fees over eight trips. (Luckily, the tickets in January were also quite cheap.) And to this we have to add lodging costs in Orenburg and monthly transfers to Vitya’s account for shopping in the penal colony’s commissary and penalties “for refusing to work” (we are now appealing the latter in court), as well as all sorts of unforeseen expenses, such as notary services, medicines, etc.

So very soon Vitya’s 100 thousand rubles will be done. In 2023, 60 thousand rubles have trickled onto the bank card we use to solicit donations for Vitya, and even then only because 50 thousand rubles were suddenly donated in February. In other months, total donations have ranged between three and 15 thousand. We still have a small reserve left, but it’s really small. It will last us for another month or two at most.

The good news is that we seemingly might be able to get back some of this money, but it will take a long time. In January, the court made the first decision to compensate our expenses in one of the cases we won. This is not compensation for moral injury, but only reimbursement of the lawyer’s travel expenses (50 thousand). The penal colony filed an appeal of course, and the date for that hearing has not even been set yet. And the district court judge has been postponing all our other claims for compensation, waiting for the appeal court’s decision on the first case. Then, if the ruling remains in force, we will wait for this money to be returned: it seems this will take up to three months, So it’s still a long time before we’ll see those initial 50 thousand again, so for the time being we definitely need donations. We have also finally started filing claims for compensation for moral injury, but there have been no hearings on these claims yet.

All the year and a half that Vitya has been in Orenburg, we have spent a lot of money fighting on his behalf, but we have been winning half of our cases in the courts, and ultimately this leads to an improvement in Vitya’s conditions (which are still harsh, however). Lawyer Vitaly Cherkasov ❤ has been working selflessly on all of Vitya’s cases since the first days of his arrest, traveling several times a month between St. Petersburg and Orenburg.

To get to the point: if you are able to donate money, please do. If you have no way to donate money, then maybe you know someone who does and you can share this post with them. Or just repost it. Or maybe you can advise us about where or to whom we can apply for financial support. All such help on your part is incredibly valuable.

In keeping with established tradition, if someone from the FSIN and their ilk are reading this, DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH — WE’RE NOT GIVING UP. 🙂

Send your donations to help pay the lawyer’s fees and Vitya’s daily expenses to:

Tinkoff Card: 2200700147541501 (Anastasia Sergeevna)

PayPal: abc-msk@riseup.net (specify the currency as euros and write “For Filinkov” in the comment box)

THANK you all SO MUCH for your support — emotional, material, informational, and all other kinds. What we do would be impossible without it.

I will include the payment details separately in the comments, as well as a link to a Google Doc outlining all of Vitya’s court cases during this time.

Source: Jenya Kulakova (Facebook), 20 March 2023. Ms. Kulakova, who is a friend of mine and one of my favorite people on this planet, is the public defender of Viktor Filinkov, a young Kazakhstani national convicted as part of the notorious Network Case, in which the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) tortured and framed a dozen anti-fascists in Penza and Petersburg for, allegedly, “creating a terrorist community.” I have posted extensively on the case and its aftermath over the last five years. The wardens at the penal colony in Orenburg where Mr. Filinkov is currently serving his sentence have seemingly singled him out since his arrival there, endlessly finding him “guilty” of various (mythical) infractions. With the help of Ms. Kulakova and his defense attorney, Vitaly Cherkasov, Mr. Filinkov has mounted a series of successful legal challenges against this flagrant abuse of his civil and legal rights. The PayPal account that Ms. Kulakova lists, above, is managed by the Moscow chapter of the Anarchist Black Cross and is completely reliable. I have made donations to it on several occasions in the past. Thank you! ||| Thomas H. Campbell, The Russian Reader


Ms. Kulakova and Mr. Filinkov met earlier today (25 March 2023), and Ms. Kulakova posted this snapshot from their meeting: