The Petersburg police have sent Alexandra Filinkova, wife of antifascist Viktor Filinkov, who was abducted by the FSB, tortured in their custody, and is now jailed in a Petersburg remand prison, charged with “involvement in a terrorist group,” a letter claiming it conducted a review and determined that on 23 January 2018, when Viktor was in fact abducted by FSB officers from Pulkovo Airport, in reality he safely flew from Pulkovo Airport in Petersburg to National Airport in Minsk, where he was supposed to catch a connecting flight to Kyiv, where Alexandra was waiting for him.
It is sometimes hard to know how to react to the abysmal cynicism of the Russian authorities.
Picture of Timur Kacharava at a memorial held at the scene of his murder on November 17, 2015. Photograph by David Frenkel. Courtesy of the Russian Reader
Man Accused of Murdering Antifascist Timur Kacharava Detained in Petersburg Twelve Years Later Fontanka.ru
February 22, 2018
Alexander Zenin, the alleged organizer of an attack on antifascists on Ligovsky Prospect in 2005, was detained in the village of Pesochny yesterday evening.
According to Fontanka.ru’s sources, CID officers from Petersburg police headquarters found Zenin at 7:00 p.m., February 21, 2018, outside the house at 61 Proletarskaya Street in the village of Pesochny. The Interiory Ministry’s Petersburg Central District Office had put him on the wanted list a year after Timur Kacharava (1985–2005) was murdered and his university classmate Maxim Zgibay was assaulted. Zenin was arrested in absentia for murder and incitement of hatred and enmity.
The 33-year-old Petersburg had lived all this time without registering his residence. He was detained in an area of single-storey private houses on the outskirts of Petersburg.
The Investigative Committee considers Zenin the organizer of the November 13, 2005, attack on the antifascists, who were holding a rally on Ligovsky Prospect.* Zenin allegedly drew up the plan for the attack, during which Kacharava was stabbed six times in the neck, dying immediately at the scene. Zgibay managed to escape into the nearby Bukvoyed bookstore, but he had been wounded in the head and chest and was taken to hospital in serious condition.
Zenin is considered the last of the defendants in the case. All nine of his accomplices, seven of whom were under eighteen years of age at the time, were arrested in December 2005. Alexander Shabalin was sentenced to twelve years in a penal colony after the court ruled it was he who had stabbed Kacharava in the neck. The remaining defendants were sentenced to terms in prison ranging from two to twelve years.
* This is an outright falsehood. Kacharava, Zgibay, and their comrades had earlier in the day taken part in a Food Not Bombs event on Vladimirskaya Square, situated many blocks away from the murder scene. In any case, Kacharava and his friends did not hold a rally on Ligovsky Prospect on November 13, 2005. This is common knowledge, as are all the other details of Kacharava’s gruesome murder and the events preceding and following it. TRR
I read in the news what happened to me today [Sunday]. I was surprised by a lot of what I read and decided to write my own account.
I had been taking pictures of an unauthorized LGBT march in support of social and labor protests on Nevsky Prospect. The march ended in the Catherine Garden. After it was over, some of the activists, who had folded up their banners and placards, and the journalists crossed the street to Malaya Sadovaya, where the National Liberation Movement (NOD) were holding a rally. The NODites and activists got into a war of words, and I pulled out my my camera. In particular, I photographed a colorful NODite in a fur hat who immediately hit my camera before kicking me several times (One of the blows was captured on Arseniy Vesnin’s video). The NODites also shouted that I was a “little Yid.”
The NODites often insult other people and let their fists and feet do the talking (the most striking example was the attack on Arseniy Vesin himself), and I asked the policemen standing nearby whether they could do something about the assailant. They refused to register my complaint, and so I called for a police patrol to come to the scene. They arrived very quickly, but they refused either to detain the assailant or even check his papers. Instead, they checked my papers. After I asked them repeatedly, they finally gave me a pen and paper so I could file a complaint.
When I had finished writing the complaint, it transpired the NODite had already escaped. I was told I could go to the police precinct [to file the complaint] whenever I liked. I stepped away to discuss with Arseniy whether it was worth going to the precinct right then. The police came over to me and said one of the female NODites had filed a complaint against me for attempting to disrupt their authorized rally. The police took me to the 78th precinct, on Chekhov Street.
At the station, the police almost immediately drew up papers stating I had been delivered to the precinct, and then I went to give testimony about my own complaint. Initially, everything was cool, only they kept asking me questions about the LGBT rally. How had I found out about it? How had I met with them? Where had been going?
I refused to answer these questions. The police responded by asking me whether I was in my right mind. Then the deputy commander of the precinct showed up. First, he demanded I turned off my phone (I refused), and then he came down hard on me, saying I was not a journalist, that I could not prove I worked for Kommersant. (I really did not have my ID on me, but I had contacted the editors, and I knew they had telephoned the precinct and confirmed my testimony.)
The deputy commander kept “poking” me, saying I had no respect for the authorities, elders, and the police. I agreed with this, reminding that my assailant had not been detained. When our argument turned more emotional, he threatened to call an ambulance brigade to check my mental competence. Then he left.
The police finished taking my testimony and left me to wait, god knows for what. The whole time Varya Mikhailova and my dad were at the front desk. They were told I had not been detained, but delivered to the police station, and that I would be released any minute now. Arseniy Vesnin, who had testified that the NODite had assaulted me and had tried to give his video to the police, was also at the station.
For a while, nothing happened. Then suddenly an ambulance brigade showed up. They immediately grabbed my papers from the table. When I protested, they told me to move to another chair. I had been sitting right under the surveillance camera and for my own safety I didn’t want to move to another chair, which I told them. So they tried to move me by force. When I resisted, the doctor attempted to strangle me, and two orderlies twisted my fingers and tried to tie my hands with a tourniquet. Yet they could not manage to move me to another chair. I stayed where I was. They also tried to confiscate my camera bag, which I held onto with my elbows. I said they would take it away from me over my dead body.
“No problem,” they replied.
The whole time I was shouting and calling for help, but the police were laughing and filming the incident on video.
Meanwhile, the orderlies whispered in my ear that they would “fuck [me] up” and “kick [me] in the balls.” Just like the NODites, the medics made fun of the fact I was Jewish. They asked me something about the “Christmas seder” (?) and made several jokes about circumcision.
As I learned later, the deputy precinct commander was chatting with my father while this was going in. The policeman was trying to persuade Dad I was a “difficult boy.” He asked him something about fights, alcohol, and drugs. He said I was behaving inappropriately: I was, allegedly, sitting hunched up and constantly making phone calls. The doctor later told my father that I had not been taken away to the insane asylum only because he, my father, had turned up at the precinct.
After half an hour of “conversing” with the medics, the sense of which I still have not figured out, I was untied and released from the precinct. The misdemeanor charges filed against me by the female NODite were dropped.
At the trauma bay, the bruises on my neck and arms, and the scrapes and scratches on my fingers were photographed and registered.
Such is the work of a journalist. I’ll post the report from the march a bit later.
Boris Romanov Facebook
12:15 a.m., December 7, 2016
At 5:00 p.m., on December 6, police detained Alyona Romanova near her home. They have charged her with misdemeanors. Allegedly, Alyona did not carry out the police’s orders and did not obey their instructions to get in their car. Alyona is currently in the 59th police precinct station at 27 Yesenin Street.
The desk sergeant’s telephone is +7 (812) 517 5902.
If you can, please call the desk sergeant and ask how she is feeling.
I was at the precinct an hour ago. I brought her warm clothes and food. She has been put in solitary confinement. There is nothing in her cell: no blanket or pillow. We were not allowed to see each other. She is quite upset, of course.
This is a new tactic on the part of the police. Apparently, as the year comes to an end, they have to turn in reports and fill their quotas of closed cases. So they have already cobbled together one case.
There will be a court hearing on December 7. It might take place at the Vyborg District Court at 3 Santiago de Cuba Street.
I don’t know exactly what time it will take place. The lawyer said that will be decided at nine or ten in the morning.