“Red Darya” Polyudova Arrested Again

“Red Darya,” the fourth episode of Grani TV’s series “Extremists,” posted on October 30, 2017

Darya Polyudova Remanded in Custody in Terrorism and Separatism Case
Grani.ru
January 16, 2020

Judge Anna Sokova of the Meshchansky District Court in Moscow has remanded in custody Darya Polyudova, leader of the Left Resistance movement, until March 13,  Moskva News Agency has reported. Polyudova has been charged with calling for separatism and vindicating terrorism.

According to the news agency, Polyudova has been charged with violating Russian Criminal Code Articles 280.1.1 (public calls for separatism, punishable by up to four years in prison) and 205.2.2 (public vindication of terrorism via the internet, punishable by five to seven years in prison).

Polyudova pleaded innocent and informed the judge of a number of procedural violations. According to Polyudova, she has been charged with “calling for separatism and a referendum on the Kuril Islands, and vindicating terrorism on social networks.”

Earlier, civic activist Alla Naumcheva reported that the investigation of the case was focused on “two video clips of some kind.”

Kuban activist Viktor Chirikov has reported that Polyudova is represented by court-appointed lawyer Galina Timofeyeva.

The record of Polyudova’s case on the Meshchansky District Court’s website lists only one charge, the alleged violation of Russian Criminal Code Article 205.2.2.

The political prisoner’s mother, Tatyana Polyudova, wrote on Facebook that her daughter had been taken to Remand Prison No. 6 in Moscow’s Pechatniki District. According to her, FSB investigator Dmitry Lashchenov was handling the investigation.

Human rights activist Irina Yatsenko told MBKh Media that on Wednesday leftist activist Kirill Kotov had been detained and questioned in the same case. He signed a non-disclosure agreement.

The day before Polyudova’s arrest, the security forces searched her dormitory room, as well as the dwelling of Gradus TV reporter Olga Sapronova, in connection with the case. Sapronova was questioned at the FSB’s Moscow and Moscow Regional Office on Bolshoi Kiselny Alley before being released. Her attorney, Olga Pelshe, was forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement on the case. Sapronova’s procedural status is currently unknown.

In 2015–2017, Polyudova served a two-year sentence at Work-Release Penal Settlement No. 10 in Novorossiysk after being convicted of publicly calling for extremism (Russian Criminal Code Article 280.1), publicly calling for extremism via the internet (Article 280.2), and publicly calling for separatism via the internet (Article 280.1.2). The opposition activist was convicted for organizing the March for the Federalization of  Kuban and solo-picketing against the war with Ukraine, and for posts she had published on the VK social network. Polyudova maintained her innocence.

After her release from prison, Polyudova moved to Moscow, where she had been organizing protest rallies.

Translated by the Russian Reader

“The Delirium of Religious Reformism”: Punitive Psychiatry Makes a Comeback in Chelyabinsk

Alexei Moroshkin. Photo courtesy of Memorial
Alexei Moroshkin. Photo courtesy of Memorial Human Rights Center

Chelaybinsk Resident Alexei Moroshkin’s Stay in Mental Hospital Extended Six Months
OVD Info
January 11, 2017

On January 10, the Soviet District Court in Chelyabinsk extended Alexei Moroshkin’s forced confinement in a psychiatric hospital for another six months, according to his mother Tatyana Moroshkina. Moroshkin had been sentenced to compulsory psychiatric treatment after having been accused of calling for violation of the Russian Federation’s territorial integrity.

According to Moroshkina, the court paid no attention to any of the arguments made by the defense, neither that her son’s actions and statements did not pose a threat to others, nor that, according to his medical record and the opinion of his physician, he was not dangerous and there was no need to hospitalize him. In making its ruling, the court was guided by the unsubstantiated opinion of court-appointed experts that Alexei Moroshkin could be dangerous, said his mother.

Moroshkin was committed to Regional Clinical Mental Hospital No. 1 in Chelyabinsk in December 2015. Prior to this, a court had considered the charges of calls for separatism made against him in connection with texts, posted on the VKontakte social network, about the need to establish a Ural People’s Republic. In November 2015, a court absolved Moroshkin of criminal liability, declaring him mentally incompetent on the basis of opinions submitted by medical forensic examiners, who during the police investigation had diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia, adding that he suffered from the “delirium of religious reformism.” This diagnosis was occasioned, apparently, by Moroshkin’s online publications and interviews dealing with the virtual Church of the Chelyabinsk Meteorite, which he had invented. At present, acccording to his mother, the medical experts do not mention delirium, but nevertheless consider her son mentally ill and a danger to others.

Before criminal charges were filed against him, Moroshkin had never been under a psychiatrist’s care.

According to his mother, Moroshkin’s physical condition has deteriorated: he suffers from a heart disease. The court also failed to take this circumstance into account.

In October 2016, Moroshkin was suddenly transferred to a wing with worse living conditions than before. Shortly before this, the hospital’s head physician was fined for refusing to provide information about Moroshkin to his defense attorney.

Currently, another case involving Moroshkin is under investigation. He has been accused of painting a bust of Lenin in Chelyabinsk in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and charged under Article 214.2 of the Criminal Code (vandalism).

Translated by the Russian Reader

Be Kind, Don’t Repost

Andrei Bubeyev (right) in the defendant's cage at his trial
Andrei Bubeyev (right) in the defendant’s cage at his trial

Tver Resident Sentenced to Two Years in Work-Release Penal Colony for Two Reposts on VKontakte
Takie Dela
May 5, 2016

The Zavolzhsky District Court in Tver has sentenced mechanical engineer Andrei Bubeyev to two years and three months in a work-release penal colony for extremism and separatism, writes Kommersant.

The defendant’s lawyer, Svetlana Sidorkina, said the court delivered its verdict “on all the charges summarily and taking into account the verdict in the first criminal case.” In addition, the time Bubeyev has served in a pre-trial detention facility since May 24, 2015, will count toward completion of his sentence. According to Sidorkina, the verdict will be appealed.

The basis for the charges were two reposts Bubeyev made on the VKontakte social network. He posted the article “Crimea Is Ukraine” by writer and political activist Boris Stomakhin on his personal page and a picture of a tube of toothpaste captioned “Squeeze Russia out of you.”

The prosecution argued this was a violation of Russian Federal Criminal Code Article 280.2 (public calls for extremist activities) and Article 280.1.2 (public calls for actions aimed at violating the Russian Federation’s territorial integrity) and requested that Bubeyev be sentenced to three and a half years in prison. Bubeyev pleaded not guilty.

In August 2015, the blogger was found guilty of extremism and sentenced to nine months in a work-release penal colony for reposting similar matter and pictures.

In February 2016, a court in Yekaterinburg ordered the laptop of single mother Ekaterina Vologzheninova destroyed because she had made certain likes and reposts. Investigators claimed that in 2014 Vologzheninova posted images deemed extremist by FSB officers on a social network. The investigators did not report exactly what was in the images. According to the woman’s attorney, one of the images was a caricature in which a person resembling Vladimir Putin was hunched over a map of Donbass with a knife.

Translated by My Left Foot. Image courtesy of openrussia.org

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Russian Jailed For Reposting ‘Extremist’ Article
RFE/RL
May 6, 2016

A court in the Russian city of Tver has sentenced a man to two years and three months in prison for reposting material about Crimea on a social media network.

The court on May 5 found that engineer Andrei Bubeyev reposted an article by publicist Boris Stomakhin that had earlier been deemed “extremist” and “threatening to Russia’s territorial integrity.”

The piece argued that the Ukrainian Black Sea region of Crimea had been illegally annexed by Russia and should be returned to Ukraine.

In April 2015, a Moscow court sentenced Stomakhin to seven years in prison on charges of promoting terrorism and extremism.

Stomakhin says the charges against him were politically motivated.

In the region of Chuvashia, investigators have accused 62-year-old Nikolai Yegorov of inciting national enmity for reposting the same Stomakhin article.

Yegorov denies the accusation and his trial is pending.

Vladimir Zavarkin, Karelian Separatist?

Separatism Charges Filed against Municipal Deputy in Karelia
July 31, 2015
Grani.ru

Заваркин
Vladimir Zavarkin. Photo courtesy of Guberniya Daily

Criminal charges have been filed against Vladimir Zavarkin, a municipal deputy in the Karelian town of Suojärvi, as reported by Guberniya Daily on Thursday. Under Article 280.1, Part 1 of the Russian Federal Criminal Code, the deputy faces up to four years in prison.

Guberniya Daily notes that Zavarkin has already given testimony in the case on four occasions. According to the article, he is being defended by a court-appointed lawyer.

At the same time, it is reported that the deputy has filed a complaint with the Russian Investigative Committee in connection with the criminal charges and is preparing an appeal to the Security Council.

Charges were filed against Zavarkin after his speech at a rally on May 20 in Petrozavodsk calling for the resignation of Alexander Hudilainen, Head of the Republic of Karelia. Over two thousand people attended the rally.

Zavarkin described the difficult social and economic situation in Suojärvi and harshly criticized Hudilainen.

He concluded his short speech with the words, “If the Russian Federation does not hear us, we will hold a referendum, I think. [If] Russia does not need Karelia, let’s separate.”

Vladimir Zavarkin’s speech at May 20, 2015, rally in Petrozavodsk, the capital of the Republic of Karelia


A day earlier, Zavarkin had posted a film about the situation in the Suojärvi District on the Vkontakte community page ”Hudilainen Resign!” The annotation to the film quotes Zavarkin’s statement in the film: “I appeal to the people of Finland and the Baltic countries: help us by sending humanitarian aid. You also have relatives in Karelia. Otherwise, we will all die out!”

Zavarkin sits on the Suojärvi Municipal Council’s committee for social issues, public order, and housing and public utilities.

Translated by the Russian Reader


Further reading:

New (Separatist) Comintern Slouches towards Moscow

Separatists Congress to Be Held in Moscow Financed by Foundation Close to Kremlin
Georgy Makarenko
September 15, 2015
rbc.ru

​On Sunday, September 20, the President Hotel in downtown Moscow will host a conference entitled “The dialogue of nations. The right of peoples to self-determination and building of the multipolar world,” [sic]. According to the meeting’s organizers, it is the “first and so far unique event for exchanging opinions among supporters of sovereignty for small nations around the world.”

According to the text of the invitation to the forum (which RBC has in its possession), in the conflict between two fundamental principles of international law—the inviolability of state borders and the right of nations to self-determination—the event’s participants come down on the side of the second position. The conference’s stated aim is the creation of an international working group for coordinating the actions of independence fighters throughout the world. The planned outcome is a communiqué defending the right of peoples to self-determination, which organizers suggest submitting as a draft resolution to the United Nations.

The Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (ADR), a Russian NGO, is organizing the congress.

attachment

Foreign Partners
In December 2014, ADR held a similar gathering in the capital. The “anti-war” faction made up a significant portion of the foreign delegation then. The largest group of this sort was the United National AntiWar Coalition (UNAC), an American organization that advocates against police abuse at home in the States and against Washington’s military interventions abroad. UNAC was represented at December 2014 forum by five co-coordinators. One of them, Joe Lombardo, informed RBC that members of his organization had not been invited to the September conference, and even if they had been invited, the Americans were unlikely to come because of their tight schedules.

ADR leader Alexander Ionov refused to reveal the exact guest list for the September forum, citing “security concerns.” According to him, western authorities could hinder delegates from flying to Moscow. His fears are not groundless. In February 2015, the FBI raided the offices of the Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM), confiscating equipment and detaining several activists. The TNM was among the organizations involved in the December 2014 forum, and it will return to Moscow in September. [According to articles in The Houston Chronicle and The New York Times, no one was arrested during raid, which took place at a meeting of a secessionist group calling itself the Republic of Texas—TRR.]

Generally, according to ADR, this time the vast majority of delegates will represent separatist movements fighting against western governments. They include separatists from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Catalonia, and the Western Sahara, and a delegation from the Irish party Sinn Féin, which last year proposed holding a referendum on Northern Ireland’s secession from Great Britain, citing the Scottish independence referendum. [What Sinn Féin actually proposed was “a Border poll on a united Ireland”TRR.]

The Russian Side
According the Russian Ministry of Justice, the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia has the status of a regional nongovernmental organization and was registered on March 15, 2012.

ADR was created “to support countries and peoples who are opposed to the unipolar world’s diktat and seek to propose an alternative agenda.” Before ADR was formed, Ionov was co-chair of the Committee for Solidarity with the Peoples of Syria and Libya (which was headed by ex-State Duma deputy Sergey Baburin). In the spring of 2013, an ADR delegation traveled to Damascus, where it presented President Bashar Assad with an honorary membership in the organization. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the former president of Iran, is another honorary member.

​Among its partners, ADR lists the Rex Information Agency, the Novorossiya Information Agency, and Nashe Podmoskovye radio station (where Ionov hosts his own program), as well as Russian and international anti-war organizations. Since 2013, ADR’s leader has also been on the presidium of the organization Officers of Russia along with General Leonid Ivashov, actor Vasily Lanovoy, and singer Iosif Kobzon. Anton Tsvetkov, chair of the Russian Public Chamber’s security committee, heads the organization.

The President’s Patronage
According to the invitation to the forum, ADR is prepared to pay for foreign visitors’ flights, airport transfers, and accommodation in Moscow. Ionov confirmed this information to RBC. According to him, ADR and its foreign guests are NGOs with limited means, and according to an unwritten rule, the hosts take care of basic expenses, which had also been the case during the trips the Russian activists made to, say, the Middle East.

Ionov said that ADR’s two main sources of financing are donations from supporters and government grants. These funds are enough to hold an international conference at least once a year, he said.

RBC failed to find information about the grants issued to ADR in the databases of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Economic Development. At the same time, ADR has regularly participated in grant competitions held by the National Charity Fund. Thus, ADR received a grant of one million rubles from the fund last year for its December forum, and this year it won an earmarked grant of two million rubles to organize the September conference. In the latter case, ADR was among ninety-nine winners from a total of over four hundred applications.

The National Charity Fund was founded in late 1999 at the initiative of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as the National Military Fund. Its goal was the financial support of military personnel and military-patriotic projects. Lieutenant General Vladimir Nosov has been the fund’s director since 2009. Prior to this, he was first deputy head of the FSB’s military counterintelligence department. The fund’s budget is formed by voluntary contributions from the public and by grants. Donors include both public figures (e.g., Roman Abramovich and Suleiman Kerimov) and major companies (e.g., Sberbank, Lukoil, Severstal, and ONEXIM Group), and ordinary citizens may also transfer funds via SMS. The fund operates under the patronage of the President of Russia and his administration, which is stipulated on the organization’s website.

Probably because of the limited budget, it was decided to hold the event on Sunday. According to the hotel chain, rental of a conference room at the President Hotel costs 45,000 rubles an hour on the weekend, which is twenty-five percent cheaper than on weekdays. In addition, the final press conference will be held on Monday, September 21, at the Izmailovo Hotel Complex. Renting a conference room there for a period of one to four hours costs twenty to thirty thousand rubles, depending on the room.

The trait that unites all those invited to Moscow—from leftist Irish nationalists to Latin American anti-globalists—is their anti-Americanism, notes Anton Shekhovtsov, an expert at the Institute of Euro-Atlantic Cooperation (Kyiv).

Translated by the Russian Reader. Thanks to Anton Shekhovtsov for the heads-up. Map courtesy of alternatehistory.com

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New Law Could Punish ‘Separatist Views’ With 5-Year Prison Sentence
RIA Novosti
January 11, 2014
The Moscow Times

President Vladimir Putin signed a law makes spreading separatist views a criminal offense punishable by up to five years in jail.

Under the law submitted to the State Duma by the Communist Party, people will face a fine of up to 300,000 rubles ($9,200) for calling for action against Russia’s territorial integrity.

Lawmakers said the legislation was an effort to curb increasing public support for the idea of relinquishing mainly Muslim territories in the North Caucasus but the measure has also drawn criticism for drawing attention away from more serious problems in Russian society.