I understand that the male members of the Council and our head, most likely, will not be interested in this event, so I appeal to the women who are members of the Council with a request to defend those who have been punished.
The female picketers are the only ones in our huge country who have shown solidarity with the real victims and those who will inevitably become victims.
The women involved in the picket in Moscow defended humanitarian values and were punished in Russia for doing this.
They have also been punished because the Presidential Human Rights Council did not protect them and their right to defend humanitarian solidarity.
I appeal to the female members of the Council to bring attention to what has happened and publicly protest the court’s decision.
Alexander Nikolaevich Sokurov
Thanks to Nikolai Boyarshinov and Elena Vilenskaya for the heads-up. Translated by the Russian Reader
Four solo picketers detained in Moscow demanding that authorities not exacerbate the epidemic OVD Info
June 19, 2021
Alexander Rimov has informed OVD Info that four people involved in a series of solo pickets demanding that authorities not worsen the epidemiological situation have been detained.
During the United Russia party congress, taking place at Moscow’s Expo Center, several people took turns holding up a placard containing a message encrypted using a QR code. The protesters urged the authorities not to worsen the epidemiological situation and postpone the elections so that the ruling party does not endanger the electorate.
Among the detainees, according to Rimov, are two virologists, a law enforcement officer and a municipal employee. They were taken to the police department in the city’s Arbat district, where they were cited for violating the rules for holding public events (per Article 20.2.5 of the Administrative Code).
UPDATE 10:00 P.M. After the charges were filed, the detainees were released, a friend of theirs has told OVD Info.
During the United Russia congress, President Putin announced the first five names on the party’s federal list for the upcoming State Duma elections.
United Russia has set itself goal of winning the elections, but this is not an end in itself. The main thing is to achieve more for the country, Vladimir Putin said.
He noted that the platform of United Russia, as a leading party, should be truly popular.
In the top five of United Russia’s federal list in the elections, there should be both political heavyweights and relative newcomers, Putin believes. The Russian president named Shoigu among those whom he sees at the top of United Russia’s federal list in the elections.
Putin also said that Protsenko, Lavrov, Shmeleva and Kuznetsova should be among the names at the top of the federal list.
Source: TASS, June 19, 2021. Translated by the Russian Reader. Mediazona editor Yegor Skovoroda writes that new data from Rosstat, the Russian federal statistics service, shows how authorities in many of Russia’s regions have been hiding covid-19 deaths by passing them off as mortalities from respiratory and circulatory diseases. In Chechnya, for example, such deaths suddenly increased by 674%, while in the Samara region they increased by 202%. It was mostly the elderly that have been dying from these alleged causes, prompting Skovoroda to call the phenomenon a “nightmarish variety of ‘pension reform.’” All the particulars are contained in Mediazona’s survey of the stats, published on June 18, 2021.
In 2021, only three forms of street activism have been possible in Moscow: “navalnings” (such as in January and April), “putings” (such as in March) and “rashkings,” named in honor of Communist MP Valery Rashkin, who does not get tired of defying the de facto ban on rallies by holding “meetings with an MP” (that is, with himself), since by law such meetings do not require prior authorization. This spring alone, Volja has written several times about progressive “rashkings” (against infill construction in Kuntsevo; against the planned demolition of the Palace of Young Pioneers; and, no less than four times, against the law banning educational outreach activities; in particular, I published an overall report and a separate remark about provocateurs).
Rashkin’s progressive work to ensure freedom of assembly in Moscow, it seems, has not gone unnoticed by the Communist Party leadership and the Presidential Administration. Open Media today published a short article in which, citing sources in the party leadership, they claimed that it was possible that Rashkin would be moved from a surefire first place on the regional party list for the State Duma elections in the autumn to a (second?) place that would make it impossible for him to win re-election. And this, it seems, is exactly what the Presidential Administration, who have soured on Rashkin over his open sympathy for the winter-spring protest rallies (the “navalnings”), wants from the Communist Party leadership.
In the spring, Rashkin, who heads the party’s Moscow city committee, was removed from the presidium of the party’s central committee and now, at the pre-election congress in late June, he could lose his place on the party list.
But Rashkin is not giving up without a fight. At two o’clock in afternoon on Thursday, June 10, he has scheduled another meeting with MPs (that is, he will probably not be alone) outside the reception area of the Presidential Administration building on Ilinka, 23, to protest recent political crackdowns. Mikhail Lobanov, in particular, has written about the meeting, apparently disappointed by today’s confirmation of the sentence meted out to his colleague Azat Miftakhov (six years in prison for breaking the glass in the door at a United Russia party office on the outskirts of Moscow; Miftakhov claims he is innocent).
It is clear that the Communist Party as a whole does not arouse much interest among political observers, but it seems that Rashkin is something special. He’ll probably show us all his stuff once again — to begin with, at two o’clock on the afternoon on June 10.
With greetings from Moscow,
Source: Volja, 9 June 2021. Translated by the Russian Reader
Against political crackdowns: a meeting with State Duma MPs
State Duma MPs from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation went to the Presidential Administration building to speak out against the political crackdowns taking place in Russia. They opposed the encroachment of security forces on freedom of thought. First of all, they spoke about the persecution of party members in the regions, who have been prevented from standing in the [autumn 2021] elections in every possible way, and the criminal cases initiated against them. In particular, they voiced their support for Azat Miftakhov and Nikolay Platoshkin.
Yesterday, the Moscow City Court, considering an appeal against the verdict of Moscow State University graduate student Azat Miftakhov, did not overturn the six-year prison sentence handed down to him, although it excluded a couple of incidents from the case. Yesterday, the Basmanny District Court left the four editors of the student magazine DOXA — Armen Aramyan, Natalya Tyshkevich, Alla Gutnikova, and Vladimir Metyolkin — under virtual house arrest (they are allowed to leave the house for two hours, from 8 to 10 am, and are forbidden from using the Internet and receiving mail) until September 14.
Source: Activatica, 10 June 2021. Translated by the Russian Reader
Communist MP Valery Rashkin and others protesting outside the Presidential Administration building in downtown Moscow, 10 June 2021
When the Night Lanterns Sway: It’s Useless to Try and Beat the State on Its Own “Legal Turf”
Alexander Skobov Kasparov.ru
February 13, 2021
On February 9, Leonid Volkov, head of Navalny’s network of local teams, announced a flash mob for February 14, Valentine’s Day: residents of large cities should go into their courtyards at 8 p.m. and turn on their mobile phone flashlights. This is an attempt to adopt Belarusian know-how [see the article, below]. The idea is that residents of the same yard who are sympathetic to the protest movement but don’t know each other can get acquainted and create a grassroots network for rapid notification and mobilization.
Putin’s occupation army has reacted hysterically to the undertaking. A yahoo from the Assembly for Approving the Cutie Pie Slutsky’s Sexual Harassment (colloquially known as the State Skank) compared the flashlights in the courtyards with the signals of saboteurs guiding German bombers to their targets. The Investigative Committee, the Interior Ministry, and the Prosecutor General’s Office declared it a call for “mass rioting” and threatened potential flash mob participants with criminal charges. Roskomnadzor has been chasing down internet media officially operating in Russian Federation and forcing them to delete reports about the planned event.
Those who tried to defend the Article 31 of the Russian Constitution [“Citizens of the Russian Federation shall have the right to gather peacefully, without weapons, and to hold meetings, rallies, demonstrations, marches and pickets”] focused mainly on the third element and sluggishly butted heads with the authorities over the second element, while almost ignoring the first element. Meanwhile, it was all about the first element. The second and third elements were just an appendix to it.
The Code of Administrative Offenses contains an article that punishes involvement in unauthorized events. The shapes and features of this involvement are not described. They are listed in Federal Law No. 54 (“On Mass Events”). In particular, it says that at a mass public event, participants express their attitude to current socio-political problems by chanting slogans and holding up placards.
For many years, opposition activists have been looking for an “unauthorized” way to publicly voice their opinions that would not get them detained. For a long time, they unsuccessfully tried to prove in the courts that if they did not chant slogans and did not hold up placards, there was no protest rally as such. However, the list of ways of participating in a rally, as enumerated in Federal Law No. 54, is not exhaustive. That is, any way of voicing one’s stance is considered an indication of having participated in a public event. That is, expression of a position as such is considered “participation.”
The phrase “expressed [his/her] attitude to current socio-political problems” is often found in police reports on the arrest of people involved in unauthorized public events. The phrase sounds crazy and comical when it comes to legally justifying arresting people and charging them with administrative offenses. It was not invented by the police goons, however. It was borrowed from the definition of a protest rally contained in Federal Law No. 54.
In fact, this coinage, found in police reports and “court” rulings, expresses the collective unconscious of the bureaucratic police regime—its dream, its loftiest ideal. Ordinary citizens should not publicly voice their opinions on current socio-political issues. It is better for them not to have such opinions at all. Voicing opinions is the prerogative of the authorities.
Hence, the very fact that an ordinary citizen voices their socio-political position is considered an anomaly, a deviation from the norm, a violation of public order. And when you start arguing with the authorities at the police station or in “court,” asking them what socially dangerous or simply harmful actions were committed by a citizen who was detained for publicly expressing their position by attending an outdoor rally, they sincerely don’t understand what you are talking about. It is clear to them that publicly voicing a position itself is a socially harmful action if ever there was one.
Since (they say) the greatest geopolitical catastrophe happened, and we are now forced to temporarily recognize a citizen’s right to voice their position at least formally, we’ll load your opportunity to exercise this right with so many conditions that you’ll rue the day you tried to do it. And they really have been doing just this—purposefully, consistently, for the entire length of Putin’s rule.
The lawless authorities refuse to authorize opposition rallies at central and iconic locations under completely far-fetched and false pretexts, and our “managed” injustice system almost always takes the side of the authorities. On the other hand, the “legislators” in the State Skank seek to block any chance people have to publicly voice their stance without prior approval. As soon as the opposition finds a new way of protesting, enabling it to circumvent previously imposed bans, a new amendment or a new law immediately follows, sealing this loophole as well.
It is useless to try to win against the state on its own “legal turf” as long as it has the will and power to shut society up. The state’s will can be opposed only by society’s will not to obey anti-legal prohibitions. The point of unauthorized public events is that they demonstratively violate prohibitions on “unauthorized” expressions of one’s opinion.
I have already had occasion to write that prohibiting people from publicly expressing their attitude to current socio-political issues without permission is an important part of the system for manipulating the admission of players to the “political market.” The entire social and political system that has taken shape in Russia is based on this system of manipulation. In order to reliably guarantee citizens their constitutional right to freely express their attitude to socio-political issues peacefully and unarmed, we have to replace the entire socio-political system.
Translated by the Russian Reader
When the Night Lanterns Sing
When the night lanterns swing,
And it’s dangerous for you to walk the dark streets,
I’m coming from the pub,
I’m not expecting anyone,
I can’t love anyone anymore.
The girls kissed my feet like they were crazy,
A widow and I drank through my father’s house.
And my cheeky laugh
Was always a success,
And my youth has cracked like a nut!
I sit on a bunk like a king at a birthday party,
And I dream of getting a drab ration.
I look out the window like an owl:
Now I don’t care!
I’m ready to put out my torch before anyone else.
When the night lanterns swing,
And the black cat runs down the street like the devil,
I’m coming from the pub,
I’m not expecting anyone,
I’ve broken my lifetime record forever!
Lyrics by Gleb Gorbovsky. Source: a-pesni. Performance by Beseder and Lyonchik. Translated by the Russian Reader
A protest in Minsk. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS. Courtesy of MBKh Media
Belarusian Courtyard Protests Model for Latest Navalny Tactic Window on Eurasia
February 13, 2021
Staunton, February 11 — The Navalny organization’s decision to shift at least for a time from mass public protests to smaller but perhaps even more numerous demonstrations in the courtyards of Russian apartment blocks is not a unique Russian innovation. Instead, it has its roots in what Belarusian protesters have been doing since last fall.
In Belarusian cities, MBKh journalist Arina Kochemarova says, this shift has led to the emergence of whole areas devoted to protests and to the first flowering of what many people there hope will result in the formation of local self-administration, yet another way they hope to undermine Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s regime.
In these Belarusian courtyards, she points out, places that people have christened “squares of change,” people fly the white-red-white Belarusian flag, organize concerns and flash mobs, and in many cases get to know their neighbors better than they ever have in the past, something that by itself promotes solidarity against the government.
Yegor Martinovich, editor of Belarusian Nasha Niva newspaper, says that Belarusians made the shift because of the rising tide of repression and arrests of those taking part in major demonstrations. Fewer people are taking part in the courtyard protests, but at the same time, he suggests, courtyard meetings are forming a sense of solidarity for the future.
Courtyard protests are not only harder for the authorities to counter, but they also can take a variety of formats ranging from flash mobs to the emergence of genuinely independent community organization. “Civil society has begun to flourish everywhere which in general is a good thing. People have begun to unite,” the editor says.
The biggest problem with this shift, Martinovich says, is that the media pays a great deal more attention to one big demonstration than it does to many smaller ones, even if the smaller ones collectively include more people and have a greater impact. Moreover, Lukashenka is learning how to react, cutting off utilities where there are white-red-white flags.
Now, this Belarusian tactic is coming to Russia, intensifying fears among the authorities that the Navalny movement could develop the way in which the Belarusian one has. Russian officials have already made clear that they will crack down hard early on lest the shift from the streets to the courtyards takes off.
Lev Ponomaryov took part in the protest outside the FSB building. Photo by Valery Sharifulin. Courtesy of TASS and BBC Russian Service
Dozens of Activists Detained at Pickets Outside FSB Building on Lubyanka Square; Human Rights Activist Lev Ponomaryov Injured BBC Russian Service
March 14, 2020
Lev Ponomaryov, leader of the movement For Human Rights, was taken to hospital from a police station after being detained during a protest outside the FSB building on Lubyanka Square in Moscow.
According to the 78-year-old Ponomaryov, police officers did not beat him, but treated him quite harshly.
“It would be more correct to say they roughed me up. I don’t remember the actual blow, but I do have a cut on my face. They grabbed me hard and dragged me,” he told the BBC Russian Service.
Earlier, news agency Interfax reported that, according to Ponomaryov, a detained activist who was next to him was beaten at the Tagansky police station.
“Me and another young me were dragged from the cell. I lost my hearing aid along the way. The kid got it worse, he was young. Maybe they were bashful about beating me,” the news agency quoted Ponomaryov as saying.
According to Ponomaryov, the police officers began acting roughly when all of the eleven detained activists, delivered to the Tagansky police station in the same paddy wagon, refused to enter the station one by one.
The activists joined hands. It was then, according to Ponomaryov, that the police began dragging the detainees forcibly into the station.
Police detained over forty activists during the protest on Lubyanka Square. Photo by Valery Sharifulin. Courtesy of TASS and BBC Russian Service
According to the human rights activist, the station commander watched it happened.
Ponomaryov said that he would probably petition the court to redress the needlessly harsh actions of the police and the beating of detainees.
A spokesperson for the Tagansky police station told the BBC Russian Service that they did not wish to comment on the situation with Lev Ponomaryov, since they had nothing to do with “what happened on the street.”
According to Ponomaryov, despite the fact that he demanded to see his lawyer, Vasily Kushnir, he was allowed to see him only an hour after arriving at the police department.
After the lawyer arrived, an ambulance was called for the human rights activist. The attending physicians decided to take him to hospital.
Later on Saturday, Ponomaryov told Interfax that he was not found to have a concussion.
“I was checked out at First City Hospital. They did a CT scan and said that everything was more or less normal, no brain damage occurred,” said Ponomaryov.
The human rights defender plans to document his injuries and file a lawsuit in connection with the beating, Interfax reports.
Marina Litvinovich, a member of the Public Monitoring Commission, told Interfax that police officers had violated the rights of both detained activists and public figures.
“Everything is bad here [at the Tagansky police department]. The police don’t let the laywers in, and they even used force, including against Ponomaryov, ” she told Interfax .
According to Lev Ponomaryov, police roughed up protesters when detaining them. Photo by Valery Sharifulin. Courtesy of TASS and BBC Russian Service
Alexei Melnikov, executive secretary of the Public Monitoring Commission, told Interfax that police at the Tverskoy District precinct also took a long time in allowing both lawyers and commission members to see detainees.
According to Melnikov, police officers refused to allow commission members to enter the building because, allegedly, they were not holding any detainees.
Ponomaryov was detained during solo pickets against political crackdowns. The protest took place outside the FSB building on Lubyanka Square. Police detained over forty protesters.
Among those detained were opposition activists Leonid Razvozzhayev and Sergei Udaltsov. According to OVD Info, a minor who had been filming the proceedings was also detained. Police did not specify the reason for the minor’s arrest. According to OVD Info, he suffered an asthma attack in the paddy wagon.
According to Telegram channel Avtozak-LIVE, police broke journalist Fyodor Khudokormov’s equipment while detaining him.
I was at Lubyanka today during the rout of the pickets—pickets that hadn’t really started yet. First, police grabbed the people holding placards, but they quickly ran out, so then they grabbed people who were just standing there.
Everyone has been writing that it was a protest against “political crackdowns.” This is not quite true. I want to remind you that people came out under the slogan “We Are All in the Net(work).” The root cause and the reason people came was the Network Case in Penza and Petersburg. This is what causes such a brutal reaction among people in uniform. This was the reason why they got tough with Ponomaryov, nor was it the first time. When you sympathize with Ponomaryov, but say “there must be something” to the latest dirt about the Network, just put two and two together.
But the Network get clobbered every day. With the back of the hand. In the same way that people are beaten up in paddy wagons.
A month ago, I noticed this sneering expression on the faces of Russian National Guardsmen. It seemed to say, “You won’t do anything to us. Things will be our way. We do what we like.” The dogs have been given the command to attack.
Petersburg historic preservationists gathering for a “sanctioned” protest near the Sports and Concert Complex (SKK), a late-Soviet era landmark in southern Petersburg that recently collapsed while being illegally dismantled, killing one worker. Photo by Sergei Yermokhin. Courtesy of Delovoi Peterburg
Don’t Rally Here: It Will Be More Difficult for Petersburg’s Historic Preservationists to Protest
Svyatoslav Afonkin Delovoi Peterburg
March 11, 2020
The Petersburg Legislative Assembly is amending the city’s law on protest rallies. The rules for holding protests have become more complicated, especially for historic preservationists.
The city parliament passed in the second reading a new redaction of the law on protest rallies. Thanks to amendments introduced by the parliamentary majority, the minimum number of “Hyde Parks” [locations where it is legal to have public protests] has been reduced from eight, as stipulated in the first redaction of the draft law, to four. Moreover, the parliament’s legislative committee added another restriction: a ban on public events outside dilapidated buildings in danger of collapsing.
Several sites designated as “dangerous” have inflamed the passions of historic preservationists in recent months. The roof on the Petersburg Sport and Concert Complex (SKK) was deemed dangerous. The Basevich tenement building on the Petrograd Side, which has been threatened with demolition, is also considered dangerous. Protest rallies have recently taken place on more than one occasion at both sites. The resettled houses on Telezhnaya Street, which the Smolny [Petersburg city hall] wants to sell, have also been the focus of public attention once again.
Drone footage of the collapse of the Sport and Concert Complex (SKK) in Petersburg in January 2020. Courtesy of Fontanka.ru
Alexei Kovalyov, leader of the Just Russia faction in the legislative assembly and deputy chair of its commission on municipal facilities, urban planning, and land issues, argues that new language in the bill appeared for a reason.
“Of course this will be an obstacle for historic preservationists. Our faction opposed these cretinous amendments. There is no doubt that this is why the new norm was introduced. It was done deliberately,” Kovalyov told DP.
Anna Kapitonova, a member of the presidium of the Petersburg branch of VOOPIiK [Russian Society for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Landmarks], noted that the amendments could make life more difficult for protest organizers: small protest rallies, such as a series of solo pickets, sometimes take place right on the sidewalks, after all. According to Kapitonova, the authorities were also able earlier to prevent even solo pickets on the pretext that scheduled maintenance or construction work was taking place nearby.
“Last year, I held a solo picket at the entrance to the Smolny. After a while, an official with the law enforcement committee came out of the building. Although the Smolny is hardly a dangerous site, scheduled maintenance of the facade was underway over fifty meters from my picket. But the official told me it was dangerous for me to be there, and asked me to move away,” Kapitonova said.
Denis Chetyrbok, head of the legislative assembly’s legislative committee, told DP that the amendments were introduced in connection with a Constitutional Court ruling, and parliamentarians had no other motives.
“If there is a dangerous building that might collapse located next to the place indicated in the [protest rally] application, then it will be difficult to secure approval for a public event,” Chetyrbok confirmed.
Once upon a time, the danger and risk in men’s lives were considered the basis of their alleged superiority over women. Only those who walked the razor’s edge looked danger and even death in the face and were thus spiritually elevated.
“My body is my business.” Picketer at International Women’s Day protest in Petersburg. Photo by AnFem
When today, International Women’s Day, the Petersburg authorities have used the pretext of events that did not even take place, including the Shoulder to Lean On Festival, to prohibit women from publicly speaking out about the issues that matter to them in any way, all that remained for them was step onto their own razor’s edge and take to the streets, risking their own safety and freedom, and thus one more time (if someone has not heard the argument) assert that archaic segregation is unacceptable.
Because, under these circumstances, each step is a small victory. Among other things, it is a victory over oneself and one’s own fear. Each step is a reclaimed meter of urban space that should belong to people, but does not belong to them. It is a small step towards freedom, a step toward oneself — through the political, through the raucous intrusion into the chronotope of a spring day somewhere in the middle of an ugly regime. A small step into our common holiday. No one is free until everyone is free.
Photo reportage by AnFem
“On March 8, I think about women political prisoners, not spring.” Picketer at International Women’s Day protest in Petersburg. Photo by AnFem
Female Activists Hold Flash Mob Dance on the Field of Mars to Protest Violence Against Women; Pickets Held on Nevsky Prospect Bumaga
March 8, 2020
MBKh Media reports that a feminist protest rally has taken place on the Field of Mars during which female activists played drums and performed chants protesting violence against women.
The rally featured a dance flash mob. The girls [sic] chanted such lines, in particular, as “The patriarchy is a judge / that judges me for being born. / And my punishment is / violence day after day.” As MBKh Media reports, the Petersburg women borrowed the idea from Chilean feminists.
Feminist activists performing a flash mob dance and chant on the Field of Mars in Petersburg. Photo by AnFem
In addition, a series of pickets took place on the corner of Nevsky Prospect and Malaya Sadovaya, reports the web publication Sever.Realii. The picketers protested domestic violence and the law against “promotion” of homosexual relations, and in support of female political prisoners. Protest organizers had originally planned a rally [on Lenin Square], but city authorities refused to sanction it.
Thanks to AnFem for the photos and the first text. Translated by the Russian Reader
This week, everyone was wondering what the text of the new Russian constitution meant and, most importantly, how it would ultimately help one particular person remain in power. And here I had thought we were busy trying to divine such things all the time! When methods for making decisions are almost totally opaque, the art of reading the various signs and signals sent from the top is elevated into a cult. Some pundits show off their familiarity with sacred knowledge, while others hone their interpretive skills on national TV. What makes the process particularly crazy is that there is often no logic whatsoever in the way the system acts.
It is even harder for those whom the system has taken hostage—for example, Konstantin Kotov, sentenced to four years in prison for four peaceful (“unsanctioned”) protests. He was arrested on August 12 of last year. The criminal investigation of his case took a whole three days, while the trial took another two days, and after that Kotov was sent to prison. But this week the Second Court of Appeal overturned the Moscow City Court’s refusal to commute Kotov’s sentence and ordered a new trial in the case. What the hell does it all mean?
Team 29 lawyer Yevgeny Smirnov, a member of Kotov’s defense team, argues it is a good sign, despite the fact that the court could have immediately closed the criminal case, although it declined to do so.
“The court clearly indicated that Kotov would be released, given that the Moscow City Court had reduced his sentence to a year and the fact that, in a month and a half, under the revised rules for time served in custody, he will have been imprisoned for a year,” Smirnov wrote. “All of Konstantin’s defense lawyers insist on his complete innocence and will seek to have the criminal case quashed and their client exonerated. In view of the rulings made by the Russian Constitutional Court, the European Court of Human Rights, and simple common sense, such a decision is the only possible outcome.”
We have also been picking up signals from the penal colonies, where we have been trying to locate one inmate. Almost nothing is known about his case, and the individual in question simply vanished a few years ago. It turns out that the official replies we have been receiving in response to a completely straightforward question also have to be interpreted. Just get a load of this:
“In accordance with Article 7 of Federal Law No. 152 on personal data, enacted 27 July 2006, persons who have received access to personal data are obliged not to disclose or distribute personal data to third parties without the consent of the person in question, unless otherwise stipulated by federal law. Given that the convicted man is not being held at [this penal colony], and it is not possible to obtain his consent, the information you have requested cannot be disclosed.”
How do you not go crazy when the state speaks to you in this language?
For the time being, trying to decipher the system’s signals is, alas, perhaps the most constructive way of communicating with it.
Petersburg Schools Required to Do “Prophylactic Work” to Prevent Pupils from Attending Nemtsov Memorial Rallies Mediazona
February 28, 2020
The St. Petersburg Education Committee has ordered schools to do “prophylactic work” to prevent pupils from participating in “unauthorized” rallies on February 29. The letter sent to school administrators was published on the Telegram channel Yabloko Human Rights in Petersburg.
The letter was marked “Urgent!” Yelena Spasskaya, the committee’s deputy head, pointed out that the request to schools was prompted by a letter they had received from Viktor Borisenko, deputy head of the Interior Ministry’s Petersburg and Leningrad Region office.
On February 25, Petersburg authorities refused to authorize a memorial march, citing as one of the reasons its supposed ignorance of the abbreviation “RF” (“Russian Federation”).
Boris Nemtsov was shot and killed on February 27, 2015, on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge near the Kremlin in Moscow. After a jury rendered its verdict, the alleged killer, Zaur Dadayev, was sentenced to twenty years in a maximum security prison. The remaining defendants received sentences ranging from eleven to nineteen years in prison. The people who ordered the killing have not yet been found.
“Schools and Hospitals Instead of Bombs and Missiles. No to War with Ukraine and Syria.” A protester at the Boris Nemtsov memorial march in Moscow, February 29, 2020. Photo by Anatrr Ra
Petersburg Authorities Claim Ignorance of Abbreviation “RF” as Reason for Refusing to Authorize Nemtsov Memorial March Mediazona
February 25, 2020
Petersburg city hall has claimed that the “ambiguity” of the event’s aims was one of the reasons it refused to authorize a memorial march for slain politician Boris Nemtsov, according to Denis Mikhailov, a member of the march’s organizing committee.
As stated in a letter sent to the committee, the organizers had listed “condemnation of political crackdowns [and] violation of human rights and freedoms” and “demanding the rotation of authorities in the RF” among the aims of the planned march.
“It is not clear what crackdowns and violations of human rights and freedoms are meant; where and how they have been carried out, and by whom,” wrote city officials, adding “There is no such abbreviation [as “RF”] in the current legislation and Constitution of the Russian Federation.”
Earlier, march organizers reported that the city’s committee for law and order had not agreed any of the march routes they proposed. The committee suggested that the opposition activists hold the march not in the city center, but in Udelny Park, located in the city’s north. The opposition activists turned down the suggestion, calling it “unacceptable.”