Elizaveta Pestova https://www.opendemocracy.net/taxonomy/term/24613/all cached version 10/02/2019 09:34:29 en One year on from a planned “revolution” in Russia, dozens of people are facing jail time https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/elizaveta-pestova-anna-kozkina/artpodgotovka-russia-vyacheslav-maltsev <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">In November 2017, hundreds of Russian citizens were involved in an <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/od-russia/andrey-kaganskikh/the-inside-story-of-russias-failed-social-media-revolution">apparent attempt to organise a new “revolution”</a> in Russia. Thirty of them are now facing serious charges.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/Screen_Shot_2017-11-17_at_10_0_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/Screen_Shot_2017-11-17_at_10_0_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="309" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Russian politician Vyacheslav Maltsev. Source: YouTube. </span></span></span></p><p dir="ltr"><em>One year ago, Russian law enforcement began a <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/od-russia/andrey-kaganskikh/the-inside-story-of-russias-failed-social-media-revolution">campaign against opposition politician Vyacheslav Maltsev and his supporters</a> ahead of their planned “revolution” on 5 November 2017. According to Maltsev, members of his Artpodgotovka movement would unleash spontaneous protests across the country before storming the Kremlin. They would then hold a referendum and vote for the overthrow of Russian president Vladimir Putin.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>The revolution did not happen, and 30 people have found themselves under criminal prosecution as a result — they are accused of extremism, creating terrorist organisations, preparing acts of terrorism and mass unrest.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Russian news organisation <a href="https://zona.media">MediaZona</a> has collected all the known information about these cases — where we can see signs of FSB agents working undercover, the defendants reveal how they were tortured and where setting a hay bale alight is considered an act of terrorism. We translate their <a href="https://zona.media/article/2018/11/05/5/11/17-year-after">article</a> here.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 16.15.28.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 16.15.28.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="248" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Sergey Okunev, who is now based in Kyiv, Ukraine, is an active YouTube blogger. Source: YouTube. </span></span></span>“Can somebody explain what this organisation is? Who’s the organiser? Who are the members? Where are the offices? The finances? It’s hilarious, to be honest,” this is how Sergey Okunev, an ally of Vyacheslav Maltsev, <a href="https://twitter.com/Okunev64/status/923452347027742720">responded</a> to the news that the Artpodgotovka movement had been banned in late October 2017. “If the information on the ban of Artpodgotovka is confirmed, it’s the Artillery Forces who will suffer the most,” Okunev <a href="https://twitter.com/Okunev64/status/923459677010251776">joked</a> on Twitter.</p><p dir="ltr">By that time, Okunev had known Saratov politician Vyacheslav Maltsev for two years and, according to Okunev, had conducted several hundred live broadcasts with him on YouTube.</p><h2>“We’re not waiting, we’re preparing”</h2><p dir="ltr">Vyacheslav Maltsev, 54, rose to national prominence in Russian politics in spring 2016 after winning the primaries for the PARNAS opposition party. This victory, which many put down to Maltsev’s populism and nationalism, <a href="https://www.rbc.ru/politics/02/07/2016/5777d08e9a794785461fc25a">provoked fierce arguments</a> in the party, but Maltsev still made it into the top three candidates for Russia’s parliamentary elections — though PARNAS still only received 0.73% of the vote, and failed to get into parliament.</p><p dir="ltr">Indeed, Maltsev’s “Artpodgotovka” channel on YouTube helped him win in the PARNAS primaries. Before it was banned in Russia, the channel’s videos — which hosted Maltsev’s opinions and current news — regularly received 100,000 views, with some videos reaching up to two million. Back then, Maltsev would repeat on every broadcast that there would be a revolution in Russia on 5 November 2017 — and that people should prepare for it. In several videos, Maltsev spoke with a banner behind him that read: “5/11/17 - we’re not waiting, we’re preparing”. This phrase later became a meme on the Russian internet — and the slogan of Maltsev’s supporters.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/M8Crcr4imH0_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/M8Crcr4imH0_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="280" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Vyacheslav Maltsev and Russian anti-corruption politician Alexey Navalny, April 2017. Source: Vkontakte. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>Sergey Okunev, who, like Maltsev, is originally from the Volga city of Saratov, says he met Maltsev just before the PARNAS primaries. At the start of 2o17, they began talking about forming a political party together. Initially, they wanted to take over a small party already registered with Russia’s Ministry of Justice, but these negotiations were unsuccessful. Instead, they came up with the idea of setting up a “Party of Free People” — and they opened a party office in Saratov on 26 May 2017, even before they’d made their first attempt at officially registering the party. Together with the Nationalists’ Party, supporters of Maltsev spent their weekends in towns across Russia, holding “walks for free people”. These actions often ended in arrests. “And there never existed any movement named Artpodgotovka as an organisation,” Okunev insists, adding that Maltsev came up with the date of 5 November 2017 back in 2013. Originally, though, this was supposed to be a “non-stop peaceful protest”.</p><p dir="ltr">Okunev believes that the campaign against Maltsev supporters before October 2017, the last month before the “revolution”. He recalls the case of Alexey Politikov, a businessman from the far eastern city of Ussuriysk and a close associate of Maltsev. Politikov was arrested at the beginning of June 2017 on charges of assaulting a police officer during the <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/ovd-info/26-march-russia-protest">26 March anti-corruption protest</a> in Moscow. (Politikov was sentenced to two years in prison in October 2017, his sentence was reduced to 18 months on appeal.)</p><p dir="ltr">Investigators also carried out house searches in this case and, according to Okunev, including at his apartment in Saratov. “I told the investigators: ‘Respectfully, I don’t have anything against [this search], but I spent the whole day and night on 26 March in a Saratov police station. Forgive me, but what do you want to find here?’ They couldn’t tell me. Of course, this was a made-up reason [to search the flat].” Okunev adds that after the search he was taken to the Investigative Committee’s regional office for interrogation. None of the questions he was asked there “related to events in Moscow”; instead, Okunev was questioned about Maltsev and Artpodgotovka.</p><p dir="ltr">In summer 2017, Okunev says, Vyacheslav Maltsev received an “anonymous warning” that he was going to be investigated. “There were reasons to believe that these people were not joking. I remember it well: we were driving along Kutuzov Avenue [in Moscow], we were discussing the situation. There were three of us in the car and we were trying to convince Maltsev to leave the country. It wasn’t that he resisted this idea particularly, but he was weighing up all the pros and cons. We explained to him that it would be much better if he didn’t go to prison. Back then we didn’t realise that the attack on us was going to be so strong.”</p><p dir="ltr">Maltsev left Russia on 4 July 2017. On 11 July, Russian law enforcement <a href="https://zona.media/news/2017/07/11/lohino">searched the movement’s apartment</a> in the Moscow suburban town of Lokhino, as part of an extremism investigation. At the end of August 2017, it was <a href="https://zona.media/news/2017/08/15/malts">reported</a> that Maltsev was accused of making calls to extremist activity during a public meeting on 6 May, and in November, he was accused of creating a terrorist organisation. Maltsev has since requested political asylum in France.</p><h2>“They planted TNT on Seryozha”</h2><p dir="ltr">Krasnoyarsk Regional Court banned Artpodgotovka on 26 October 2017. In the days that followed, supporters of Vyacheslav Maltsev were arrested in Krasnoyarsk, Volgograd, Saratov, Kazan and Tomsk. On 1 November, four days before the planned “revolution”, Sergey Okunev found out that his friend and comrade Sergey Ryzhov had been arrested — today Ryzhov is under arrest on terrorism charges at Moscow’s Lefortovo prison.</p><p dir="ltr">“The lawyer rang me. I remember the moment well, it was about seven in the evening. He tells me: ‘They planted TNT on Seryozha [Ryzhov], a pistol, they blew opened the windows to his apartment and opened a terrorism case against him,’” Okunev remembers. “It’s hard to describe my reaction. And the lawyer, who was always completely calm, says: ‘Well, you know, you probably should be somewhere else. Do you understand the risks?’”</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/kmo_111307_19310_1_t218_160105.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/kmo_111307_19310_1_t218_160105.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="259" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Sergey Ryzhov. Source: <a href=https://memohrc.org>Memorial Human Rights Center</a>.</span></span></span>Half an hour later, Okunev received a call from the Saratov branch of Alexey Navalny’s campaign, who told him that the police were looking for him. Fifteen minutes later, Okunev’s landlay rang him: “They’re almost breaking the door down, I don’t know if this is connected to you or not.”</p><p dir="ltr">“I was simply lucky that I was in a suburb of Saratov, in a place that’s difficult to get to,” Okunev says. “I had literally an hour, and I decided that I was going to leave the country. I had a shirt, jacket with long sleeves, shoes, keys to the apartment, a press card, a telephone, which I instantly dismantled, and 1,300 roubles [£15] in my pocket. I got to Moscow and then teleported to the place I am now.”</p><p dir="ltr">Okunev currently lives in Kyiv, and is waiting for a decision on asylum.</p><h2>“We’re waiting for the revolution”</h2><p dir="ltr">Despite the preventative detentions and arrests, many supporters of Maltsev still decided to gather on Manezh Square in Moscow on 5 November 2017.</p><p dir="ltr">Alexander Verkhovsky, head of the <a href="https://www.sova-center.ru/en/">Sova Center for Information and Analysis</a>, also went to central Moscow to take a look at the “revolution”. “There were some men there, mostly middle-aged, but there were a few young people too, only a few. They were standing close to the wall of the Moscow hotel. Everything was barricaded off. And they stood there, it was full of journalists, it was easy, even with an untrained eye, to see the revolutionaries. Journalists would go up to them and ask why there were standing there. ‘We’re waiting for the revolution’ - ‘What will you do?’ - “Well they told us, we’re waiting for 12 o’clock’. Twelve o’clock came and nothing happened.”</p><p dir="ltr">According to Verkhovsky, normal police officers were the first to come to the square, but then were followed by riot police. But none of the protesters tried to resist them. Verkhovsky notes that he didn’t hear any slogans or see any banners, or “even a button of any kind”.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 16.55.58.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 16.55.58.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="311" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>5 November 2017: Echo Moscow journalist Andrey Ezhov is arrested alongside other people in central Moscow. Source: Andrey Ezhov / Twitter. </span></span></span>“Of course, this kind of movement inevitably attracts a certain number of inadequate people,” Verkhovsky says. “But Maltsev himself doesn’t look like a marginal, [he] has completely established himself in politics according to Russian standards. But some participants, not all of them, will definitely be marginals. And the main thing is that their behaviour was marginal. I can’t even imagine what these people were thinking when they gathered there. It seems they really thought that the leader knew, that he had some kind of clever plan.” Verkovsky categorically denies that there was any chance of Maltsev’s supporters organising a revolution.</p><p dir="ltr">OVD-Info, an NGO which monitors politically-motivated arrests in Russia, <a href="https://zona.media/chronicle/5-nov%2315809">calculated</a> that more than 400 people were arrested on 5 November 2017 across the country — and not only supporters of Vyacheslav Maltsev, but also random passers-by. Most of them, roughly 300, were arrested in Moscow.</p><p dir="ltr">In the end, at least 31 people have or are facing criminal charges in connection with this “revolution”. Here’s everything we know about these cases.</p><h2><strong>Saratov</strong></h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendant: </strong>Sergey Ryzhov (34)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Charge: </strong>preparing an act of terrorism (Articles 30.1, 205.1)</p><p><strong>What happened:</strong> Sergey Ryzhov, an activist with the Party of Free People, was arrested on 1 November. The FSB <a href="https://zona.media/chronicle/5-nov#15820">published a video </a>of Ryzhov’s apartment being stormed, where you can see security forces blowing off the windows to the first-floor apartment, running up the stairs and entering the premises. In the following scenes, two men are shown before the camera — one of them is Ryzhov — as well as bottles on the floor, and a pistol. Ryzhov insists that agents planted 200 grammes of TNT and molotov cocktails in the apartment.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/Screen_Shot_2017-11-17_at_10.28.58_0.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/Screen_Shot_2017-11-17_at_10.28.58_0.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="331" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>FSB storms apartment of Artpodgotovka members, November 2017. Source: Tass. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>Ryzhov is charged with preparing an act of terrorism, which was due to be carried out on Theatre Square in Saratov. He was arrested by Frunze district court in the city on 3 November 2017, and was then transferred to Moscow at the end of the month: his case was transferred to the FSB’s main investigation directorate.</p><p><strong>Sentence: </strong>A sentence has not yet been issued in this case. Ryzhov is currently in Lefortovo Pre-Trial Detention Facility, Moscow.</p><h2>Moscow</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendants:</strong> Vyacheslav Maltsev (54), Alexander Svishchev (55), Andrey Tolkachev (41), Nadezhda Petrova, Yuri Kornyi (49), Andrey Keptya (42)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Charges:</strong> organising a terrorist organisation, participating in it (Parts 1 and 2 of Article 205.4), preparing an act of terrorism (Part 1 of Article 30, Point A, Part 2 of Article 205)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What happened:</strong> at the beginning of November 2017, the FSB opened a terrorism investigation into Vyacheslav Maltsev, who had left the country. His associates Alexander Svishchev, Andrey Tolkachev, Nadezhda Petrova, Yuri Kornyi and Andrey Keptya were also accused of participating in Maltsev’s terrorist organisation. Tolkachev, Kornyi and Keptya are also accused of preparing an act of terrorism — they are currently in pre-trial detention, while Svishchev and Petrova managed to leave the country.</p><p dir="ltr">According to investigators, Artpodgotovka aimed to “violently change the constitutional order” of Russia, and Maltsev ordered Petrova and Svishchev to plan acts of terrorism, while the rest were to carry them out. On 11 October, Tolkachev gave a canister of petrol to Kornyi and Keptya, which they were to use to set alight some hay and pallets on Manezh Square in Moscow. On 5 November, Svishchev was meant to disrupt some electricity sub-stations in the Moscow area, and Petrova - to carry out arson attacks against state buildings. </p><p>One source familiar with the investigation told MediaZona that Andrey Keptya had refused the services of his lawyer and confessed to the crimes he is accused of, including giving evidence against other defendants. Kornyi and Tolkachev have not confessed. According to the source, this case is under control of the same investigators who worked on the case of Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sentence: </strong>This case is yet to go trial.</p><h2>Saratov</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendants:</strong> Fyodor Martynov (23)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Charges:</strong> illegal trade in weapons (Part 1, Article 222), illegal preparation of explosive substances (Part 1, Article 223.1), illegal possession of explosives (Part 1, Article 222.1)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What happened:</strong> Agents of Saratov FSB detained Martynov on 1 November 2017, the same day as Sergey Ryzhov. According to the FSB, during the search of Martyov’s apartment, they found ammunition for a rifled weapon, improvised explosive devices and explosive substances. A video released by the FSB shows that they found a book called “Russian kitchen: A-Z of home-made terrorism” on Martynov’s computer. Prior to trial, he was held in pre-trial detention in Saratov.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sentence:</strong> On 9 September, Saratov’s Kirov district court sentenced Martynov to 2.5 years and a fine of 100,000 roubles. </p><h2>Kurgan</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendants:</strong> Evgeny Lesovoy (51).</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Charges:</strong> Public calls to extremist activity (Part 2, Article 280)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What happened:</strong> According to media outlet <a href="https://oblast45.ru/publication/22550/">Oblast 45</a>, Lesovoy was detained on 7 November 2017. Law enforcement found a mobile phone with the Telegram application installed. According to investigators, it was on Telegram that Lesovoy joined the “Artpodgotovka” chat, where, until 5 November, he wrote messages containing calls to mass unrest and extremism. The investigator in this case told journalists that there were more than 20 people in this chat. Lesovoy remained in pre-trial detention during the investigation, and did not admit to the charges against him. </p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 17.05.32.png" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 17.05.32.png" alt="" title="" width="460" height="303" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Evgeny Lesovoy is detained in Kurgan: Source: Investigative Committee / NTV. </span></span></span><strong>Sentence: </strong>On 7 August 2018, Kurgan city court sentenced Lesovoy to two years of prison colony and banned him from administering websites for the same period. On 26 October, Lesovoy’s legal counsel told MediaZona that his client would be released “in a month”.</p><h2>Saratov</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendants:</strong> Dmitry Kostin (33)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Charges: </strong>recruitment for an extremist organisation (Part 1.1, Article 282.1)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What happened:</strong> On 28 March, Dmitry Kostin, a captain in Russia’s Rocket Forces, was, according to his statement, summoned to Saratov FSB, where he was put into a car and was presented with a warrant to search his home. Previously, Kostin had posted online a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV6CAI7hYg0">video-address by Vyacheslav Maltsev to Russia’s army and police</a> (this video is not listed on Russia’s Federal Register of Extremist Materials), and this was used as the reason for the search. During the search, FSB officers found a banned book (Restrukt) by Russian neo-nazi Maxim Martsinkevich. After the search, this book and Kostin’s electronic devices were confiscated.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Kostin’s interview to <a href="https://fn-volga.ru/article/view/id/519">Free News</a>: “The recruitment charge is down to the fact that two people (out of roughly 10 who were questioned) gave evidence that I had invited them to take part in an ‘opposition walk’, that is, in a completely peaceful event that doesn’t bother anyone.” After the case was opened, Kostin was fired from the army.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sentence:</strong> A sentence is yet to be issued in this case. Although the case was opened on 10 may, Kostin is yet to face charges, and the method of restraint has not been chosen.</p><h2>Novosibirsk</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendants: </strong>Vyacheslav Dobrynin (39), Alexander Komarov (56), Anatoly Plotnikov (51)</p><p dir="ltr">Charges: attempt to organise mass unrest, participation in mass unrest and assisting organisation (Part 1, Article 30; Part 5, Article 33; Parts 1 and 2, Article 212), illegal possession of firearms (Part 1, Article 222)</p><p><strong>What happened: </strong>On the evening of 5 November, the defendants and several dozen other supporters of Vyacheslav Maltsev gathered on 1 May Square in Novosibirsk. They had neither firearms, nor banners. After this, the defendants’ homes were searched — according to the investigators, the defendants tried to organise a riot before the protest. The Investigative Committee <a href="http://nsk.sledcom.ru/news/item/1247912/">reported</a> that law enforcement had found more than 20 Molotov cocktails, radios, knives and a smoothbore weapon with ammunition during searches. Taiga.info <a href="https://tayga.info/142160">reported</a> that the main aim of this protest was apparently to seize the Novosibirsk State Television Studio.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">The prosecution believes that the organiser of these crimes was Alexander Komarov, a former police investigator, and alleges that he planned to broadcast Maltsev’s appeals on television. As part of this, Komarov had found a map of the television studio complex and a key to an unguarded door in the perimetre fence.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Taiga.info, investigators found Molotov cocktails at Vyacheslav Dobrynin’s apartment. He was arrested on 9 November, while Komarov was arrested only on 22 March 2018. Both of them deny the charges against them and have <a href="https://tayga.info/143012">declared hunger strikes</a> in pre-trial detention. Anatoly Plotnikov, the regional leader of the Party of Nationalists, has admitted the charges against him, and is on travel restrictions.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sentence: </strong>a sentence in this case has not yet been issued. The case will be heard in camera in Novosibirsk Regional Court, “in the interests of guaranteeing the safety of participants of the trial.” </p><h2>Moscow</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendants: </strong>Oleg Dmitriev (39), Oleg Ivanov (41), Sergey Ozerov (46)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Charges:</strong> preparing a terrorist act (Part 1, Article 30; Point A, Part 2, Article 205), participating in a terrorist organisation (Part 2, Article 205.4)</p><p><strong>What happened: </strong>On 2 November, Moscow Newspaper <a href="http://mskgazeta.ru/proisshestviia/revolyuciya-zakonchilas---ne-uspev-nachat-sya--v-moskve-zaderzhali-ekstremistov-dvizheniya-artpodgotovka-vyacheslava-mal-ceva.html">reported</a> that four supporters of Vyacheslav Maltsev had been detained in New Moscow — allegedly, these men had been planning to start a riot on 5 November. This same media reported that law enforcement had found 13 Molotov cocktails, three canisters of flammable liquids and equipment for making Molotov cocktails at the apartment rented by Oleg Dmitriev, Oleg Ivanov, Sergey Ozerov and Vadim Mayorov.</p><p dir="ltr">Initially, Ozerov, Ivanov and Dmitriev were <a href="https://www.mos-gorsud.ru/rs/shcherbinskij/services/cases/admin/details/c2eb4241-b2c6-493a-8f9e-28007c3177c0?respondent=%25D0%25BE%25D0%25B7%25D0%25B5%25D1%2580%25D0%25BE%25D0%25B2">arrested</a> for 15 days for failure to comply with police orders — apparently, they refused to present their ID documents when asked. These three men were then sent to pre-trial detention as part of an FSB investigation into alleged preparations for an act of terrorism and membership of a terrorist organisation.</p><p dir="ltr">According to activist Inna Kholodtsova, who is involved in the support campaign for people arrested in connection with the 5 November protests, 27-year-old Vadim Mayorov may have cooperated with the investigation. She notes that Vadim Mayorov may have been introduced to Ivanov and Dmitriev in Almetyevsk by Nadezhda Petrova, another defendant in the Artpodgotovka terrorism case in Moscow. Petrova <a href="https://vk.com/wall12257755_1774">visited</a> the city in July 2017. According to Kholodtsova, it was Mayorov who proposed that the activists travel to Moscow for 5 November.</p><p dir="ltr">“He [Mayorov] suggested blowing something up several times, they refused, of course. They didn’t know that there were bottles in the bag, it wasn’t theirs. When they left the apartment, it seems he [Mayorov] prepared those concoctions,” Kholodtsova says. She makes reference to several acquaintances who were told by other Artpodgotovka supporters in detention that Mayorov had escaped the police van after being arrested. It is unknown where Mayorov is currently located, there’s no information that he has been arrested.</p><p dir="ltr">During a hearing on extending detention, Ozerov, Ivanov and Dmitriev all reported that they had been tortured with electric shocks, says Kholodtsova. The defendants are yet to receive a lawyer of their choosing — their relatives cannot afford their services, and the support group hasn’t managed to collect the necessary amount.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sentence:</strong> a sentence is yet to be issued in this case. The investigation is complete, and the defendants are reading the case materials in pre-trial detention. They refused to give evidence, citing Article 51 of the Russian Constitution.</p><h2>Kaliningrad</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendants: </strong>Alexander Petrovsky (35)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Charges:</strong> public calls to terrorism (Article 205.2)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What happened: </strong>Alexander Petrovsky, a taxi driver from the town of Baltiysk, was detained on 5 November 2017. According to investigators, Petrovsky uploaded two audio files to the Telegram chat “Revolution Kaliningrad” on 31 October 2017. The New Kaliningrad media outlet reported that forensic experts judged Petrovsky’s comments to be “speech acts [calling for] the complete transformation of the whole socio-economic structure of society, leading to a change of the social order in Kaliningrad oblast and Russia.” Petrovsky did not deny that he made these audio files, but denies his guilt in committing a crime. During the investigation, Petrovsky was held in pre-trial detention.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sentence: </strong>On 21 May, Moscow Regional Military Court sentenced Petrovsky to two years of general prison colony.</p><h2>Krasnoyarsk</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendants:</strong> Roman Maryan (40), Pyotr Isayev (19), Alexander Zaitsev (44)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Charges:</strong> preparing to participate in mass unrest (Part 1, Article 30; Part 2, Article 212), recruiting others to participate in mass unrest (Part 1.1, Article 212), illegal possession and preparation of explosive devices (Part 1, Article 222.1, Part 1, Article 223.1)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What happened:</strong> Roman Maryan and Pyor Isayev were detained on 30 October 2017 at Achinsk railway station, Krasnoyarsk region, as they prepared to travel to Moscow to join the “Russian March” event. At the same time, Alexander Zaitsev, 44, was detained in Krasnoyarsk. According to investigators, Zaitsev was responsible for encouraging Isayev and Maryan to participate in an “armed uprising” in Moscow on 5 November.</p><p dir="ltr">Isayev admitted to preparing to participate in mass unrest, as well as illegal possession and preparation of explosive devices, which were found on him when he was detained. Zaitsev admitted to recruiting the other defendants to participate in mass unrest.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_right caption-small'><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_small/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/maryan.jpg" alt="" title="" width="117" height="131" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-small imagecache imagecache-article_small" style="" /> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Roman Maryan. Source: Memorial Human Rights Center. </span></span></span>Maryan, who was accused of preparing to participate in mass unrest, did not admit to the charges against him. His legal counsel Natalya Mons says that the charges against him were based on information gained by agents who infiltrated Artpodgotovka. “They were infiltrated back in December 2016. That is, agents were present at all meetings, they were equipped with recording devices, or reported to FSB officers every week what happened at these meetings. And all actions connected to buying tickets, special clothing, devices — all of this was carried out by individuals cooperating with the FSB.” The Memorial Human Rights Assocation has <a href="https://zona.media/news/2018/03/14/maryan">recognised</a> Maryan as a political prisoner.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sentence: </strong>On 28 April 2018, Achinsk City Court sentenced Isayev to two years of general prison colony; in July, Zaitsev was sentenced to 2.5 years. In August 2018, Maryan was sentenced to three years and three months. </p><h2>Volgograd</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendants: </strong>Vladislav Bondarenko (22), Stanislav Babanov (26), Mikhail Turchenko (26), Oleg Kostik (33), Kirill Litvinenko (17).</p><p><strong>Charges:</strong> Calls to extremism (Part 2, Article 280), calls to mass unrest (Part 3, Article 212), incitement and preparation to participate in mass unrest (Part 4, Article 33; Part 1, Article 30; Part 2, Article 212).</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What happened:</strong> At the beginning of November 2017, five young men who were traveling to Moscow were detained in Volgograd. The first to be detained was Vladislav Bondarenko, a student of Volgograd State University, who had created several open Telegram chats in the lead up to 5 November — roughly 30 people in total were subscribed. According to case materials, Bondarenko called on subscribers to arm themselves in order to attack law enforcement officials and seize state buildings in Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar and Moscow.</p><p dir="ltr">FSB agents detained the student on 1 November. On the same day, Bondarenko agreed in writing to participate in an experiment of the investigation, during which he, under the control of FSB agents, continued to write messages in Telegram chats and organised a meeting on the outskirts of Volgograd with several people who had agreed to travel to Moscow with him — Stanislav Babanov, Mikhail Turchenko , Oleg Kostik and Kirill Litvinenko. They were arrested at the meeting place. During the search, FSB agents found two safety helmets on Babanov, a crowbar on Turchenko, a stick on Kostik, and a hunting rifle and air pistol on Litvinenko, which belonged to his father. Babanov and Kostik are still in pre-trial detention, the rest are under travel restrictions.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sentence:</strong> a sentence has yet to be issued in this case. In September, a Volgograd district court began examining the case. Babanov denies the charges. According to Babanov’s family, Turchenko and Litvinenko confessed to the charges, but Turchenko withdrew his testimony in court.</p><h2>Moscow</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendant:</strong> Vyacheslav Shatrovsky (49)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Charge:</strong> use of force against a police officer (Part 1, Article 318)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What happened:</strong> On 5 November 2017, Shatrovsky was arrested in Moscow together with his son. The next day, Tverskoy district court arrested him on suspicion of using a force against a police officer. The Investigative Committee claim that Shatrovsky, on being stopped for a document check, hit the police officer in question several times in the head. Shatrovsky <a href="https://zona.media/news/2018/02/06/shatrovskij">says</a> that he himself received a trauma to the head when the police officer threw him over his shoulder.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_left caption-small'><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_small/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/shatrovskiy_1.jpg" alt="" title="" width="160" height="121" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-small imagecache imagecache-article_small" style="" /> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Vyacheslav Shatrovsky. Source: Memorial Human Rights Center. </span></span></span>According to the activist, this took place after he tried to protect his son, who had attracted the attention of the police. A medical report states that, aside from a head trauma, Shatrovsky was also diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">A criminal case into his assault was not opened. Memorial has <a href="https://zona.media/news/2018/05/28/shatrovski">recognised </a>Shatrovsky as a political prisoner.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sentence:</strong> In May 2018, Moscow’s Tverskoy District Court sentenced Shatrovsky to three years of prison colony, but this sentence was then reduced by three months.</p><h2><strong>Oryol</strong></h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendant: </strong>Denis Stepanov</p><p><strong>Charge: </strong>calls to extremism (Part 2, Article 280)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What happened: </strong>On 3 November 2017, Denis Stepanov, a resident of Oryol, was arrested for his comments (which “called for revolution”) in an online group connected to newspaper Oryol News. On the same day, the media outlet released a video which shows Stepanov retracting his words: “I called on people to come out onto the streets on 5 November, to overthrow the government and also insulted police officers, FSB officers… I wanted the people to punish them on 5 November, on the day of revolution. I made a mistake. And I regret this. And I believe that police officers carry out their duties and service. And I believe that changes in power should only happen via legal and constitutional means.”</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sentence: </strong>On 4 June 2018, Stepanov was sentenced to two years of penal labour, the case was examined according to special procedures.</p><h2>Tomsk</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendant: </strong>Name unknown (26)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Charge: </strong>calls for extremism (Part 2, Article 280)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What happened: </strong>On 3 November 2017, the FSB reported that it had detained Tomsk activists who had allegedly “planned to organise mass unrest in public places”. Artpodgotovka was not mentioned in the press release, but the detainees were called “representatives of a civic destructive movement”. The press release only mentioned that a criminal case had been opened into calls to extremism.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sentence: </strong>At the beginning of February, a Tomsk city court sentenced this local resident to a 1.5 suspended sentence, according to an FSB press release. According to investigators, the Tomsk resident, who admitted to the charges against him, distributed calls on the internet to “carry out actions on 5 November 2017 that would stir up social tension, prevent the lawful activities of state institutions” and the violent seizure of power.</p><h2>Rostov-on-Don</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>Defendants: </strong>Yan Sidorov (18), Vladislav Mordasov (22), Vyacheslav Shamin (18).</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Charge:</strong> attempting to organise mass unrest and participation (Part 3, Article 30; Parts 1 and 2, Article 212)</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>What happened: </strong>On 5 November 2017, during a picket outside Rostov regional government building, student Yan Sidorov and metal caster Vladislav Mordasov were arrested. Both of them were sentenced to seven days in prison for carrying out a public action without informing the authorities. A week later, they were both sent to pre-trial detention in connection with a riot investigation. The third defendant, Vyacheslav Shashmin, was sentenced to house arrest — he is accused of attempting to participate in the alleged riot, which never took place.</p><p dir="ltr">The defendants have been accused of trying to organise an armed assault of the regional government building and law enforcement officials. This alleged attack was apparently organised by Mordasov in an open Telegram chat called “Revolution 5/11/2017 Rostov-on-Don”.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/e05cd3964be83627088c8afb685d4c15.jpeg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/e05cd3964be83627088c8afb685d4c15.jpeg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="320" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Yan Sidorov. Source: Memorial Human Rights Center. </span></span></span>Sidorov and Mordasov insist that they only planned a peaceful protest, organising a picket for 5 November via Telegram. Novaya Gazeta writes that, in contrast to other subscribers to the chat, Sidorov and Mordasov proposed beating up police officers and organising pogroms. Sidorov wrote: “We are gathering for a peaceful protest at 12.00 [...] Don’t discredit yourself.” Forensic analysis has not revealed any calls to violence in their messages.</p><p dir="ltr">Vyacheslav Shashmin was not a member of this open Telegram chat and was detained while he walked past the protest. He nevertheless admitted the charges.</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Sentence: </strong><strong>A sentence has yet to be issued.&nbsp;</strong></p><h2>Krasnodar and Samara</h2><p>In a 2017 press release, the FSB <a href="https://zona.media/news/2017/11/03/artppp">stated</a> that it had stopped the activities of Artpodgotovka not only in Moscow, Krasnoyarsk, Kazan and Saratov, but also in Krasnodar and Samara. There is, however, no open source record of any relevant criminal investigations in these two cities.</p><p dir="ltr">We filed information requests with the Investigative Committee in Krasnodar and Samara. They responded that no investigations into Artpodgotovka had been opened in the past 12 months. In June 2018, Samara FSB reported that it had opened a criminal investigation into calls for extremism into an Artpodgotovka activist. When we filed further requests for criminal cases against Maltsev supporters across the country, neither the Investigative Committee, nor the FSB responded.</p><h2>Glory at any cost</h2><p dir="ltr">Alexander Verkhovsky calls Artpodgotovka “a very strange phenomenon, which arose at a time of complete decline both in Russia’s protest movement generally and among Russian nationalists in particular.”</p><p>“The Artpodgotovka movement is just a weakly organised network of people who like Maltsev, You can’t even call it an ‘organisation’ really, they did nothing in an organised way. The most organised event they did was these ‘walks’, which were co-organised with the nationalists,” says Verkhovsky, who calls Maltsev himself a “right-wing populist”. After the unsuccessful revolution, Maltsev returned to blogging — he currently broadcasts live videos on his <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv5dc2Zi6j5IXQ_NKTZuSLA">“Narodovlastie”</a> (“People power”) YouTube channel. At the time of writing, the channel had 34,500 subscribers.</p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/20645392_157944214761098_3145851565335400678_o_(1)_0_0.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/20645392_157944214761098_3145851565335400678_o_(1)_0_0.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="345" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>"The lack of justice leads directly to revolution": Vyacheslav Ryabkov, an Artpodgotovka member from Chuvashia, has faced criminal prosecution for repeatedly breaking regulations on public meetings. Source: Facebook.</span></span></span><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/author/igor-gukovsky">Igor Gukovsky</a>, who works for the Memorial Human Rights Association, points to the “social demographic profile” of Maltsev’s supporters. Indeed, Gukovsky believes there is a connection between the lack of public interest in this case and Artpodgotovka’s demographics. “Take, for instance, the Rostov case of Sidorov and Mordasov. It became more well-known because Yan Sidorov has a grandfather with a legal education, a former army colonel and active person who began to visit various institutions, human rights organisations, journalists to try and raise this issue [publicly]. And if someone is without a university education or any social connections in Moscow, friendly lawyers or rights defenders, then their situation deteriorates sharply.”</p><p dir="ltr">Gukovsky is concerned that the majority of cases will be examined <em>in camera</em>. “Perhaps society will never find out about the prosecution’s evidence, whether something really was going on or not, and whether the FSB interpreted the activities, which people carried out as part of Artpodgotovka, correctly.” Gukovsky calls the situation of many of those arrested in connection with Artpodgotovka “tragic”. On the request of investigators, courts are examining appeals to extend the arrests of defendants in Moscow terrorism cases in closed sessions.</p><p dir="ltr">Alexander Verkhovsky believes that the prosecution of Maltsev’s supporters led Russian law enforcement to investigate similar cases, such as the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/od-russia/andrey-kaganskikh/the-network">“Network” anti-fascist and anarchist case</a>, and <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/od-russia/ovd-info/interview-anna-pavlikova-new-greatness-case">“New Greatness” activism case</a>. </p><p dir="ltr">“There would be no ‘Network’ case, no ‘New Greatness’ case without Artpodgotovka. This is the case on both sides. It’s clear that there are always some groups of people who like to dream of revolution. But previously our security services used to dissipate these groups, they didn’t try and turn them into anything bigger. And after this huge [Artpodgotovka] case, everyone is hungry for glory. This is why you can take any group, which on the surface looks like a mini-Artpodgotovka, and make a big new investigation out of it. It’s good that we only have had two of these cases so far. To be honest, there could have been 20 of them.”</p><p>&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/andrey-kaganskikh/the-inside-story-of-russias-failed-social-media-revolution">The inside story of Russia’s failed social media revolution</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/anna-arutunyan/who-ll-make-russia-great-again">Who will make Russia “great again”? </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/andrey-kaganskikh/the-network">“The Network”: how Russian security services are targeting Russian anarchists and anti-fascists </a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/ovd-info/interview-anna-pavlikova-new-greatness-case">“I wanted to wail, to scream at them: ‘What in the world are you doing to my daughter? Are you human or not?’”</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/ovd-info/six-days-to-destroy-movement">Artpodgotovka: six days to destroy a movement</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/sergey-eremeyev/back-in-the-ussr">Back in the USSR: meet the people calling for the restoration of the Soviet Union</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by 4.0 </div> </div> </div> oD Russia oD Russia Anna Kozkina Elizaveta Pestova Russia Fri, 09 Nov 2018 16:47:56 +0000 Elizaveta Pestova and Anna Kozkina 120527 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Russia’s Kuzbass coal region is on the verge of an ecological catastrophe https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/elizaveta-pestova/russias-kuzbass-coal-region <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This corner of Siberia is famous for coal production and its local kingpin. Ecologists believe there are dark days ahead for the centre of Russia’s export coal industry.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr"><em><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none_left caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/564053/rsz_6e11bdb1f03df26d2aa4ed5fc369979c_1400x850.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/564053/rsz_6e11bdb1f03df26d2aa4ed5fc369979c_1400x850.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="294" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Sergey Sheremetyev. Photo(c): Elizaveta Pestova / Mediazona. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>This article <a href="https://zona.media/article/2017/11/16/kuzbass">originally appeared in Russian at MediaZona</a>. We are grateful for their permission to publish a translation of it here.</em></p><p dir="ltr">By regional standards, the Kemerovo coal basin in southwestern Siberia (also known as the Kuzbas), is considered an industrially developed and heavily populated area. Its governor and local kingpin Aman Tuleyev has been dubbed by the press as both “the most effective governor in Siberia” and “one of the most authoritarian regional leaders in Russia”. He’s even been called “head of the Kuzbas Khanate”.</p><p dir="ltr">Tuleyev, 73, isn’t Russia’s longest serving governor (Yevgeny Savchenko has governed the southern region of Belgorod for 24 years), but he is definitely top dog. Tuleyev is just a year younger than his region, which was carved out of the Novosibirsk region in 1943: with the Donbas and its coal reserves occupied by German troops, the Kuzbas became critically important to the Soviet Union as a source of fuel. The scale of mining here has grown incrementally ever since. </p><p dir="ltr">Spichenkovo airport lies 25 km from the city of Novokuznetsk. The road is lined with private houses and large black hills — slag heaps left after the open cast mining of the area. The surface layer of soil is removed by bulldozers, revealing barren rock which is then crushed by powerful machines to expose the coal beneath. The waste rock, known as “tailings” is then piled into heaps. This method of coal mining has only been in use in Russia for the last 10-15 years: in Soviet times coal was extracted from deep mines. </p><p dir="ltr">The landscape around Novokuznetsk, seen from a plane, is like nothing on earth, its fields broken up by the enormous gray quarries, sometimes kilometres wide and up to 200m deep, left after the coal has been extracted.</p><h2 dir="ltr">“Either we don’t live here, or they don’t mine”</h2><p dir="ltr">The regional government and its loyal press don’t talk about the dangerous proximity of this mining activity to the towns of the area. Governor Tuleyev constantly <a href="http://gazeta.a42.ru/lenta/news/aman-tuleev-rasskazal-s-kakimi-rezultatami-kuzbass-vstrechae">sings the praises</a> of the coal industry, which <a href="https://neftegaz.ru/news/view/163862-Ugolnaya-promyshlennost-Kuzbassa-za-7-mesyatsev-2017-g-uvelichila-dobychu-na-9-do-1392-mln-t">increased its output by 9% </a>this year. So far, the only people to protest are the residents of the villages threatened by the sprawl of the mines: Sergey Sheremetyev from Alekseyevka and a few allies succeeded in halting operations by the Bungursky-Severny Excavation Company, a kilometre away from a residential area (rock fragments from the blasts were landing in people’s gardens). Mining was also halted in the picturesque village of Apanas, on the edge of the taiga.</p><p class="mag-quote-center" dir="ltr">To my question about whether they had tried to dissuade or intimidate him, Sheremetyev just smiles and says it’s hopeless</p><p dir="ltr">“We fought them from 2010 until 2013,” says Sheremetyev. “We used all kinds of tactics: we lay under the excavators’ caterpillar tracks, we entered the explosion zone, we stopped them loading coal, and of course we wrote protest letters. Either we don’t live here, or they don’t mine — there are no other options.” To my question about whether they had tried to dissuade or intimidate him, Sheremetyev just smiles and says it’s hopeless. Now activists from Ananyino and Alekseyevka have started sharing their experiences with other people. They recently organised a protest on the occasion of <a href="https://www.americansecurityproject.org/russia-year-environment/">Russia’s Year of the Environment</a>, planting fir and cedar trees around the edge of an old open cast mine, and releasing young carp into the water that now fills it. </p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none_left caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/564053/rsz_9eb5a2a27ac8f3669e397970d04cd295.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/564053/rsz_9eb5a2a27ac8f3669e397970d04cd295.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="294" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>"The profitable factory". Photo(c): Elizaveta Pestova / Mediazona. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>Anton Lementuyev, a mining engineer and coordinator of the Ecodefense movement, tells me that locals are increasingly unhappy about the mining operations. The first protest rally took place in Novokuznetsk on 24 September, when people came together from several dozen villages. Yuri, one of its organisers, recalls the day: “The weather was dreadful — during the previous night they wrapped up the stage in netting, cordoned it off with tape and put a barrier around it. We had planned to speak there. Then, in the morning, they surrounded the site with buses and stationed a circle of cops round it as well.”</p><p dir="ltr">In early October, the protesters gathered in Gavrilovka, a village of 20 houses near Novokuznetsk. Five kilometres away, coal is being mined at the Stepanovsky open cast site — without the necessary documents, activists claim. Residents of other villages unhappy with what was going on joined those from Gavrilovka to protest. </p><p dir="ltr">The activists planned to block the road leading to the excavation site with a bulldozer, but at the last moment the people from Gavrilovka decided against it. Sheremetyev tells me that the night before, trucks arrived with free coal and villagers were promised that the one and only road in the village would be mended. In the end, a sparsely attended rally did take place, ending with the signing of a collective letter to the law enforcement bodies, demanding an official inspection of the Stepanovsky site. The site manager then admitted that not all the necessary formalities had been completed, but the local authority <a href="http://tayga.info/137188">ruled</a> that operations there were perfectly legal. <br class="kix-line-break" /></p><h2 dir="ltr">Quiet explosions in honour of the Birth of the Holy Mother of God</h2><p dir="ltr">Critics of the region’s coal industry are often reminded by the authorities that the mining operations provide jobs for the local population, says Anton Lemetuyev. Some 150,000 of the Kemerovo region’s 2.5m inhabitants are directly involved in the mining sector, and others work in its infrastructure and numerous industries connected with it. Lemetuyev tells me that the wages of many people living in the region “are linked to the amount of coal extracted and sold”.</p><p dir="ltr">“I’d rather find work 100km away than work in the mines,” Sheremetyev tells me with disgust. He works as a minibus driver in Novokuznetsk. </p><p class="mag-quote-center" dir="ltr">Lementuyev calls Kuzbas a “mono-region”: it seems to consist entirely of mine-towns, quarry-towns and power plant-towns</p><p dir="ltr">Lementuyev calls Kuzbas a “mono-region”: it seems to consist entirely of mine-towns, quarry-towns and power plant-towns. Official figures put the number of open cast mines at 120, but it’s difficult to work out the real figure: environmentalists believe there are quite a few sites where mining continues illegally. </p><p dir="ltr">There are 10 open cast mines in Kiselevsk, a district with 90,000 inhabitants. The quarry edges sometimes come right up to houses: like where English teacher Svetlana Kolomeychenko lives. Most houses in her street were demolished long ago, but Svetlana refuses to sell her plot to the mining company; she feels the compensation being offered is inadequate. </p><p dir="ltr">Behind the trees in her back garden is a steep drop, and beyond the drop is a disused open cast mine, where smoke rises from the coal from time to time. The windows of her house are always coated in a layer of black dust. She has a tear-off calendar where she notes the blasts: “25 September, 14.45: the explosions are quiet today, in honour of the Feast of the Birth of the Holy Mother of God.” More powerful explosions produce cracks in her walls. </p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none_left caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/564053/rsz_78249f75fd3dab483b9fd001bce8bd30.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/564053/rsz_78249f75fd3dab483b9fd001bce8bd30.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="294" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Bachatsky open cast mine. Photo(c): Elizaveta Pestova / Mediazona. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>Near Belovo, a town of 70,000 people 100km from Novokuznetsk, is the Bachatsky open cast mine, the largest in the region, which has produced several million tonnes of coal since 1949. The pit is 250m deep, black dust rises from it constantly and the massive BelAZ dump trucks look like children’s toys in its lifeless landscape. </p><h2 dir="ltr">“You can’t get rid of coal” </h2><p dir="ltr">Ecodefense campaigner Vladimir Slivyak believes that the Kemerovo region is on the brink of an environmental disaster and social disintegration. The mining industry has been in decline for several years and the<a href="http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2016/04/parisagreementsingatures/"> EU countries signing the Paris climate agreement</a> in 2016 committed themselves to reducing their use of coal and phasing it out completely in the near future, leaving major coal producers with a financial shortfall. </p><p dir="ltr">Anton Lementuyev believes the local mining corporations are aware of the situation, but continue to operate with impunity thanks to sweeteners from the regional government: “they have no social responsibilities, which avoids a huge amount of outlay: they have abandoned any responsibility for rehousing, environmental obligations or just observing the law. Everything has been rigged to allow them to avoid paying for anything.” Thus, legal requirements are ignored so that firms can open mines near population centres, and the land is never cultivated afterwards. According to Lemetuyev, this is because opencast mining is cheaper, and by excavating near towns and villages they save a fortune on infrastructure. “Everything comes down to mining company profits,” concludes Slivyak.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553429/RIAN_2520083.LR_.ru_.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553429/RIAN_2520083.LR_.ru_.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="294" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Kemerovo governor Aman Tuleyev meets Vladimir Putin in Moscow, October 2014. Photo (c): Mikhail Klimentyev / RIA Novosti. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>Kemerovo’s regional government denies that the world is moving away from coal-fired power stations because of their detrimental effect on the environment. “You can’t get rid of coal: it has been, is and will continue to be one of humanity’s most precious resources,” <a href="http://kemoblast.ru/news/prom/2016/02/19/aman-tuleev-ugol-nevozmozhno-otpravit-v-nokaut-ugol-byl-est-i-budet-odnim-iz-tsennejshih-bogatstv-chelovechestva.html">declared </a>Aman Tuleyev in February 2016. In an interview with TASS on the eve of Miners’ Day in August, the governor <a href="http://tuleev.kuzbass.tass.ru/">said</a> that “We have all had to make a colossal effort to turn Kuzbas from a jobless hole into Russia’s industrial backbone. For the last 20 years, our coal industry has gone through a complete cycle of rejuvenation, and has changed from a failing sector subsidised by the government to an economically effective one and become the first wholly privately owned sector of the Russian economy.”</p><p class="mag-quote-center" dir="ltr">Most houses in the region still use coal for heating, and the government is in no hurry to lay gas pipelines to replace it</p><p dir="ltr">In the European part of Russia, Vladimir Slivyak tells me, coal accounts for only a small part of our energy use, “but Siberia and the Far East are a totally different story”: coal provides about 50% of energy here. “So environmentally-minded conversations about having to do something — lower waste emissions, develop different energy sources — are bad news in Kuzbass, because we’re so reliant on coal,” Slivyak adds that most houses in the region still use it for heating, and the government is in no hurry to lay gas pipelines to replace it. </p><p dir="ltr">While EU countries have been signing agreements on phasing out coal, the Russian government has been developing a plan to support its coal industry until 2030 and hopes to increase exports. According to Slivyak, the plan is “to use less gas and more coal. Why? Because gas is a valuable resource that can be much more conveniently and profitably sold to the west. And while there is certainly a demand for coal, if we look at reality, rather than government plans, it’s clear that a serious growth in its export is unlikely.” </p><p dir="ltr">According to environmental specialists’ figures, one and a half million tonnes of pollutants and about half a million cubic metres of contaminated effluents are annually released into the environment in Kuzbas. Anton Lemetuyev of Ecodefense gives me an example: over the last few years the water in the river Aba, which flows through the centre of Novokuznetsk, has turned black. And 300-350 tonnes of redundant rock are annually deposited next to open cast mines — this waste occupies a large area and, according to environmentalists, is toxic.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none_left caption-xlarge'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/564053/rsz_ea56d56984430cab412556b1f9a4e74b.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/564053/rsz_ea56d56984430cab412556b1f9a4e74b.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="294" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-xlarge imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>The cut in Alekseyevka. Photo(c): Elizaveta Pestova / Mediazona. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>Coal for the Kuzbas also has an effect on the environment of other parts of Russia. In the far eastern ports of Vanino, Sovietskaya Gavan and Nakhodka, for example, a tense situation has <a href="https://ecodefense.ru/2017/07/20/van/">arisen</a> over coal shipments. The port workers unload coal in the open, releasing toxic dust into the air. The environmentalists explain that, as far as atmospheric pollution is concerned, the local residents may as well be<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMoH5FiAhIE"> living in an open cast mine</a>. Local campaigners are trying to get a ban on the open shipment of coal, but so far with little success. </p><p dir="ltr">“It’s not like we have mutants wandering the streets of Novokuznetsk or Kemerovo,” says Slivyak, “but if you look at the figures, even the official ones that are probably understated, you can see that there is an environmental catastrophe. Living here is just bad for your health. It’s difficult to find a single indicator in environmental or health statistics that would correspond to the Russian average. They are all much worse, and the cost is enormous.” </p><p dir="ltr">Slivyak believes that the coal export figures will inevitably continue to fall, so local people will start losing their jobs and then any concern about the environment will fly out the window: “The local authorities are doing all they can to turn a blind eye to the situation, and will continue to do so until someone in a hard hat appears and starts doing something.”</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Translated by Liz Barnes.</em></p><p dir="ltr"><em><br /></em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-read-on"> <div class="field-label"> 'Read On' Sidebox:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>“<a href="https://www.novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/08/09/73398-wiki-kuzbassbashi" target="_blank">Kuzbassbashi</a>” Ilya Azar’s profile of Kemerovo region’s strongman Aman Tuleyev for <em>Novaya Gazeta</em> (in Russian)</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/svetlana-bolotnikova/kuban-some-men-want-to-watch-world-burn">In Russia, some men want to watch the world burn</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/editors-of-opendemocracy-russia/russia-s-eco-activists-not-out-of-woods-yet">Russia’s eco-activists: not out of the woods yet</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/aaron-pelei/chelyabinsk-copper-plant-conflict">Chelyabinsk copper plant conflict reaches new (and sad) lows</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/editors-of-opendemocracy-russia-vladimir-slivyak/when-you-buy-coal-you-have-moral-right-to">“When you buy coal, you have a moral right to ask where it came from”</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/daniel-voskoboynik/russia-tinderbox-in-struggle-for-safe-climate">Russia: the tinderbox in the struggle for a safe climate</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> oD Russia oD Russia Elizaveta Pestova Green Eurasia Russia Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:46:20 +0000 Elizaveta Pestova 114844 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Four years in prison for utopia https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/elizaveta-pestova/alexander-sokolov-four-years-for-utopia <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">Russia’s fight against "extremism" is a convenient pretext for restricting freedom of expression — and journalist Alexander Sokolov is paying the human cost. <em><strong><a href="https://opendemocracy.net/od-russia/elizaveta-pestova/alexander-sokolov-utopia">RU</a></strong></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/20160824_sokolov2.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="284" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Russian journalist and economist Alexander Sokolov is facing prison time for his activist and journalist investigations. Source: <a href=rotfront.su>Rot Front</a>. </span></span></span>Since November 2016, the corridors of Moscow’s Tverskoy district court have been filled with elderly citizens, loudly discussing conspiracy theories, the fate of the Soviet Union and the significance of Stalin. Waiting outside the courtroom, they exchange comments with officers of the court before finally being allowed inside, when they promptly occupy all the seats. Two tall women, dressed in their prosecutor blues, follow them into the court, where three men — Kirill Barabash, Valery Parfyonov and Alexander Sokolov — are standing trial. Yuri Mukhin sits next to them, and this is the case against “Army of the People’s Will”.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Mukhin is a prominent political writer, who <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/od-russia/vyacheslav-kozlov/knocking-back-russia%E2%80%99s-nationalists">began his career back in the early 1990s</a>. In 1995, he began publishing the<em> Duel</em> newspaper, which, in its various iterations, took Stalinist and anti-Zionist approaches to Russia’s political and social problems. Later, Mukhin’s most active followers joined his organisation “Army of the People’s Will” (AVN), which sought to, among other tasks, enforce the direct responsibility of Russia’s politicians to the people: AVN tried to conduct a referendum on changes to Russia’s Constitution permitting public officials and parliamentarians to be punished, should the people wish it. It’s completely legal to want a referendum, but in 2010 AVN was declared an extremist organisation and banned. In effect, this court decision meant that any further activity by AVN was subject to criminal prosecution.</p><p dir="ltr">At one point, though, an initiative group on conducting a referendum (under the name “For responsible authorities”, or ZOV) was set up in parallel with AVN — this group had the same basic idea and the same people behind it. If you compare the leaflets they published, the symbols they used and their demands, these two organisations were similar to the point where you couldn’t tell them apart.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_left caption-small'><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_small/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/1ea660832a0a997abca7394787e0056a.jpeg" alt="" title="" width="160" height="216" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload caption-small imagecache imagecache-article_small" style="" /> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Yuri Mukhin, speaking in 2009. Source: Denis Lobko / Wikipedia. </span></span></span></p><p dir="ltr">You can interpret Mukhin’s clear intention to continue the activities of AVN under a new guise in various ways. </p><p dir="ltr">The officers of the Moscow Centre for Combating Extremism and police investigators interpreted it clearly, however — and in line with Article 282.2 of Russia’s Criminal Code (“Continuing the activities of an extremist organisation, banned by a court decision”). </p><p dir="ltr">In summer 2015, the Russian security services searched apartments belonging to members of the organisation, and detained Mukhin, who was sat in his trunks on a Crimean beach at the time. (Mukhin, who admires the USSR, supported the annexation of Crimea in 2014.) Two of Mukhin’s followers, Valery Parfyonov and former military officer Kirill Barabash, also wound up in custody.</p><p class="mag-quote-center" dir="ltr">What’s important here is the fact that a journalist is being prosecuted for his activist past</p><p dir="ltr">Enter Alexander Sokolov, a journalist for leading Russian politics and business news agency RBC — and a strange addition to this cast. Just before his arrest, Sokolov, who covered Russia’s state corporations, published a <a href="http://www.rbc.ru/investigation/society/06/07/2015/55958a469a794774f0921542">lengthy investigation into corruption</a> at the Vostochny cosmodrome, a <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/od-russia/dmitry-okrest/unpaid-wages-halt-progress-at-russia%E2%80%99s-flagship-space-project">flagship project for the Kremlin</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">It soon became clear that Sokolov does have some past involvement with Mukhin and his organisation — though, truth be told, it’s not clear how closely he really knows them. The criminal case assigns Sokolov the role of administrator for the initiative group’s website, which apparently promoted extremist materials online. Indeed, the final prosecution documents devote only a single sentence to Sokolov.</p><p dir="ltr"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/555493/amur trip putin kremlin ru_0.jpeg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="284" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style="" /> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Vostochnyi Cosmodrome, visited here by Vladimir Putin in September 2014, has been plagued by <a href=https://www.opendemocracy.net/od-russia/dmitry-okrest/unpaid-wages-halt-progress-at-russia’s-flagship-space-project>wage arrears</a> and allegations of embezzlement at the subcontractor level. Source: Kremlin.ru. </span></span></span>During the investigation and trial, the RBC journalist has insisted that he left his activist days behind him in 2013, when he <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el57MTaPAwQ">defended his PhD</a> and began working as a journalist. Sokolov’s dissertation focused on the inefficient use of funds during projects carried out by some of Russia’s major state corporations — Rosnano, Olimpstroi, Rosatom and Rostec. The management of Rostec, a powerful state corporation that is closely allied to the Kremlin, studied Sokolov’s work — and, according to the journalist, they were not pleased with its contents. Sokolov insists that he was arrested because of his journalistic and research work.</p><p dir="ltr">Of course, the investigators knew that Sokolov’s views and acquaintances have changed. He himself could have tried to put some distance between himself and the strange Stalinists he’s being tried with, but he didn’t surrender his former comrades — even when they called themselves “citizens of the USSR” and spoke about the emergence of a fascist regime in Russia. The trial, which is due for sentencing on 10 August, has been long and difficult: hours were spent discussing absurd petitions raised by the defendants; dozens of requests for the judge and prosecutors to recuse themselves; a vocal support group that, on occasion, came to (minor) blows with officers of the court; the judge’s voice often rising to a shout.</p><p class="mag-quote-center" dir="ltr">Russia’s fight against “extremism” is being conducted so successfully that anyone, even someone who believes in utopia, can wind up in court</p><p dir="ltr">Nevertheless, Alexander Sokolov faces up to eight years in prison on extremism charges, and now the trial is at an end he’s been mostly forgotten — though not by his colleagues. At the end of 2015, RBC journalist Mikhail Rubin <a href="http://www.rbc.ru/politics/17/12/2015/56729c0c9a794709f623882a">asked Vladimir Putin about the fate of Sokolov</a>. The editorial team were concerned about the effect on freedom of expression. The president promised to look into, though no change in the prosecution has been registered. A year later, Putin was asked <a href="http://tass.ru/politika/3901608">once again about Sokolov</a>. He responded: “Most likely my administration has looked into it, and if the case has made it to court, then that means everything isn’t quite so simple. But I’ll look into it again.”</p><p dir="ltr">Prior to the pleadings, when the prosecutor’s office asked for Sokolov to be sentenced to four years in general regime prison, Russia’s independent Union of Journalists <a href="http://www.colta.ru/articles/society/15404">published an open letter</a>, in which 282 signatories (after the number of the article of Russia’s Criminal Code) called the case against the journalist “uncivilised”, and requested it to be closed. The Memorial Human Rights Center has <a href="http://old.memo.ru/d/248767.html">declared</a>&nbsp;Mukhin, Parfyonov and Sokolov political prisoners.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">To assert that the charges against Alexander Sokolov are connected with his journalism would be an exaggeration. What’s more important here is the fact that a journalist is being prosecuted for his activist past. Nevertheless, Russian law enforcement has long worked to restrict freedom of expression in society — the <a href="https://opendemocracy.net/od-russia/natalia-yudina/got-tagged-get-fined-russia-s-battle-against-digital-extremism">numbers of criminal cases for reposts on social media</a> and offhand comments on blogs speaks to this. </p><p dir="ltr">Russia’s fight against “extremism” — which is, on the whole, the fight against freedom of expression — is being conducted so successfully that anyone, even someone who believes in utopia, can wind up in court. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Update: on 10 August, Alexander Sokolov was <a href="https://themoscowtimes.com/news/russian-journalist-sokolov-jailed-for-extremism-after-calling-for-referendum-58629">sentenced to four years in prison colony </a>on extremism charges, alongside Kirill Barabash (four years), Valery Parfyonov (four years) and Yuri Mukhin (four years conditional sentence). The European Court of Human Rights has stated it will examine the case against Alexander Sokolov.&nbsp;</em></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/vyacheslav-kozlov/knocking-back-russia%E2%80%99s-nationalists">Knocking back Russia’s nationalists</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/nataliya-rostova/regulating-moscow-hack-pack">Regulating the Moscow hack pack</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/natalia-yudina/got-tagged-get-fined-russia-s-battle-against-digital-extremism">Got tagged? Get fined! Russia’s battle against “digital extremism”</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/ivan-zhilin/writing-poetry-in-russia-is-dangerous-profession">Writing poetry in Russia is a dangerous profession</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/od-russia/pavel-chikov/russia-s-managed-thaw">Russia’s “managed thaw”</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/od-russia/nataliya-rostova/could-trade-union-do-anything-to-protect-russian-journalists">Could a union do anything to protect Russian journalists?</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-rights"> <div class="field-label">Rights:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> CC by NC 4.0 </div> </div> </div> oD Russia oD Russia Elizaveta Pestova Russia Beyond propaganda Sat, 05 Aug 2017 16:33:47 +0000 Elizaveta Pestova 112686 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Elizaveta Pestova https://www.opendemocracy.net/content/elizaveta-pestova <div class="field field-au-term"> <div class="field-label">Author:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Elizaveta Pestova </div> </div> </div> <p>Elizaveta Pestova is a journalist for <a href="http://www.zona.media">MediaZona</a>.&nbsp;</p> Elizaveta Pestova Fri, 04 Aug 2017 09:29:01 +0000 Elizaveta Pestova 112698 at https://www.opendemocracy.net