Russia: Moscow court extends three anti-fascists’ arrest by three months

On December 14, 2012, Moscow’s Tagansky district court has extended arrest for three anti-fascists who were detained on suspicion of participation in a brawl at Moscow’s Vozdukh club in December 2011. Alexei Olesinov, Alexei Sutuga and Alen Volikov will be kept in pre-trial detention until March 2013, Novaya Gazeta newspaper reported.

Olesinov was kept in pre-trial detention since February, Sutiga since April, and Volikov was detained in November. They reported pressure from Federal Security Service (FSB) and Interior Ministry officers, and threats made by operatives against their relatives.

Judge Marina Orlova did not accept defence lawyers’ arguments that Sutuga suffers from asthma, which cannot be treated at the pre-trial detention centre, and that he has an underage child dependent on him. The judge also refused to accept bail for Volikov, and that Olesinov’s health declined while in custody.

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Moscow anti-fascist may become permanently disabled in pre-trial detention

Health condition of anti-fascist Alexei Olesinov, who is held at Moscow’s Medvedkovo pre-trial detention centre as a suspect in the “Moscow antifa case” for allegedly participating in a brawl, has sharply deteriorated. Independent expert evaluation, conducted by the Pavlov State Medical University in St Petersburg, confirmed that Olesinov risks becoming permanently disabled. However, the pre-trial detention centre administration has opposed bringing outside doctors to treat him. Opposition activists say that should Olesinov’s health be significantly damaged, active protests by radical-left youth may ensue.

As [Russian business newspaper] RBK Daily reported earlier, at the moment in Moscow and other Russian cities a series of criminal cases concerning brawls between ultra-left and ultra-right youths are being investigated. During investigative actions, law-enforcement officers repeatedly said that they want to prove via a court procedure the existence of the antifa extremist community, which has violent actions against nationalists as its purpose. Law-enforcers consider Alexei Olesinov, also known as Shkobar, to be one of the leaders of the antifa.

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Join common days of action for Alexey Sutuga, Alexey Olesinov and all repressed anti-fascists

In spring of 2012, anti-fascist movement of Russia has been targeted with new repressions. An excuse for the repressions was an incident in Moscow club “Vozdukh”, where 17th of December, during a punk-hardcore concert, a conflict between public and the security took place. Security of the club consisted of supporters of the far right, and were provoking guests. Due to conflict, concert was got halted prematurely, but the security attempted to take some guests as hostages, promising them punishment from their friends – nationalistic football hooligans. Visitors of the concert resisted, the security opened fire with rubber coated metal bullets, but soon guests of the concert gained upper hand and the security was neutralised.

Alexey Olesinov was arrested 12th of February in Saint Petersburg. Alexey Sutuga was arrested in evening of 17th of April in Moscow. Currently, both of them are in a remand prison in Moscow.

But incident in club “Vozdukh” is just an excuse for yet another attempt to destroy anti-fascist movement in Moscow, and in Russia in general. Authorities of the Russian federation are not in a condition to stop nationalists – they are either ignoring the threat alltogether, or attempt to set up “a controllable nationalist movement”, but in the end these attempts just becoming subsidies of the far right from the state – let us keep in mind the close cooperation between pro-Kremlin youth organisations and “Russkiy Obraz”, which in turn was connected to armed Nazi underground organisation of Yevgeniya Khasis and Nikita Tihonov. But state is harshly intervening against any civic initiatives, which attempt to fight against nationalists using direct action.

Goal of the most recent operation of the authorities is to neutralise most known and most active anti-fascists of Moscow. Both activists have been in anti-fascist movement for a decade already. Olesinov was already once jailed with bogus charges – in November of year 2008 he was arrested, allegedly for a fight with security in club “Kult” in August of that year. Immediately after that incident, Olesinov was arrested, but released without any charges, as he was not committing even a misdemeanor and club security had no any demands. However, prosecutor demanded 5 years prison sentence on basis of Second part of Statute 213 of Russian criminal codex (“Hooliganism”), but thanks to a wide protest campaign and a number of protests both in Russia and abroad, eventually he was only jailed for a year. But this prison sentence damaged his health for good, and after new arrest in February, he has had continuous health problems. He was diagnosed an early form of tuberculosis, apparently contracted during his previous prison term, but he is not provided a proper medical care.

Remand court of Olesinov involved outrageous violations – prosecutor claims that he was hiding from the officials, and provided judge a warrant not to leave Moscow with a falsified signature, dated to beginning of the February. But there is no way Olesinov could have signed such a paper in Moscow, since he was continuously staying in St. Petersburg since December.

Alexey Sutuga is a member of Autonomous Action since early years of 2000s, he was first active in Irkutsk and then in Moscow. He participated to every single major campaign of anarchist movement during the last ten years, and supported journal Avtonom. In 2007, he joined ecological protest camp against uranium enrichment in city of Angarsk in Siberia, which was assaulted by nationalists in the early morning hours. Ilya Borodaenko from Nahodka of Pacific Ocean was murdered, and a number of other visitors of the camp were seriously wounded.

We should not let state to attack anti-fascist movement yet another time! We call everyone to join common days of actions for Alexey Sutuga, Alexey Olesinov and all repressed antifascists from 10th to 17th of July – during these days, new court decision on continuation of remand imprisonment will be made in Moscow.

Any kind of actions are welcome – marches, pickets, wheat-pasting, graffiti, writing of protest letters and so on – choose whichever methods are the most actual where you live. But do not forget to contact us in prior, so that we could list you among the participating cities!

If you want to participate, write to info@avtonom.org, or call or send sms to Moscow group of Autonomous Action: +7-985-247-20-65

More on the case in section “Moscow case against anti-fascists”, http://avtonom.org/en/mda

(source: https://avtonom.org/en/news/join-common-days-action-alexey-sutuga-alexey-olesinov-and-all-repressed-anti-fascists)

Anarchist Alexey Sutuga was arrested and remanded in Moscow – help needed

Alexey Sutuga, anarchist, anti-fascist and the member of “Autonomous Action” was arrested on Tuesday evening, April 17, in Moscow. It happened during fundraising effort in support of anti-fascists prisoners. It became aware almost after a day after arrest that Alexey is now in the remand prison number two which is also known as “Butyrka”.

The police accuse him of the same charges as anti-fascist Alexey Olesinov who has already been in custody for a month – complicity in the incident at the Moscow club “Vozdukh”, on 17 December, 2011, when the Nazis working for the security attacked the guests of the concert and then blamed anti-fascists in this assault.

Voluntary donations for the support of anti-fascists in detention, particularly of Alexey Olesinov and Igor Kharchenko, were gathered in the center of Moscow, on April 17. The event was organized by activists of the anti-racist human rights initiative “Direct Help”. About 15 people, including Alexey Sutuga, showed up. Two police officers came up to the group at 20.30, according to witnesses. They identified themselves and asked why there were too much garbage around the bench.

After that the police began to ask all who was there at that time to show the documents. When people refused to show them, two plain clothes officials appeared instantly, out of nowhere and then about 5-6 of their colleagues showed up.
One of them showed his card, muttered something like “the criminal investigation Department, guys”, and said “get him!”. Police officers obeyed him, took Alexey and led him off to the direction of highway.

At the same moment all the people in plain clothes followed them, no longer pay any attention to the rest of the crowd, although they had promised to arrest all those who have no documents to the police station. Among those who arrested Alexey, there was a well-known Moscow FBI agent Evgeny Platov, better known as “Zhenya the FSB” (more about him and his pursuit of the Moscow anarchists you can read here: http://avtonom.org/news/feisy-vs-anarkhisty-kak-boitsy-nevidimogo-foront… – in Russian)

It’s worth noting that a group of anarchists, including Alexey, had been detained a week earlier by the same plain clothes officers, but they were released without any charges.

Sutuga’s family and friends didn’t know about his whereabouts for almost 24 hours. He didn’t answer the phone. The information about his whereabouts was only released in the evening, April 18. It was reported that he is in
“Butyrka” and, apparently, Basmanny district court quickly sanctioned pre-trial detention of the anti-fascists.

He is charged with “hooliganism” (Article 213, Part 2 of the Russian Criminal Code). The press service of the Moscow police reported that Alexey Sutuga is charged in connection with the same case as Alexey Olesinov.

Recently it became aware of an attempt of fabricating a second criminal case on Olesinov: on April 17 police presented him a a young man who claims to have been attacked by Alexey on December 4th, 2011, though at this day Olesinov was posting articles on the Internet. (for more details: http://ru.indymedia.org/newswire/display/26512/index.php – in Russian).

“The case against the well-known anti-fascist Alexey Olesinov, now remanded, has been investigated for several months and is now collapsing. It seems like the human rights campaign in support of Olesinov began to irritate the police. If they had something against Sutuga, then they would have followed the legal procedures for this case. And it turns out that they have just arrested a person and kept him almost a whole day incommunicado. It looks like the policemen have a rich imagination”- commented a participant of ” Autonomous Action”.

For more information about the incident in club “Vozdukh”, see here:
https://avtonom.org/en/people/aleksei-olesinov

For other persecutions of anarchists and anti-fascists in Moscow, see here:
https://avtonom.org/en/people/antti-rautiainen,
http://anarcho-news.info/news-534 (in Russian)

Currently funds are urgently needed for legal costs of Sutuga. You may donate through Anarchist Black Cross of Moscow, instructions are available here:
http://wiki.avtonom.org/en/index.php/Donate

Incident on the dance-floor – prehistory of the arrest of Alexey Olesinov

On 13th of February, a known Moscow anti-fascist Alexey Olesinov was arrested in St. Petersburg with charges of “hooliganism”, related to incident in Moscow club “Vozdukh” 17th of December.

The following statement on the event was published by anonymous participant of the anti-fascist initiative “Direct help” already 19th of December, but considering arrest of Olesinov, we consider necessary to pick up the topic again.Alexey had not anything to do with this fight, but it is now used as a pretext to imprison him. It is obvious, that “Anti-extremist center” and FSB are now revenging the fact, that they could not jail him for a longer time back in 2009, when he was framed up last time. It is obvious, that real reason why officials are after him, are the anti-fascist activities of Olesinov during last decade.

Old version of our website is currently unavailable, but some background information on the court case of 2009 is available here: Fresh news on topic will be available with tag.

Story of the events in club “Vozdukh” is useful not only in order to once again see, how much official version may differ from real events, but also to demonstrate to all owners of Moscow clubs, how short-sighted it is to employ people with far-right views to security, as they have a tendency to provoke visitors, which will eventually lead to property destruction and other trouble.

Currently, Aleksei is remanded, and next time court will decide on continuation of imprisonment in prior to court 18th of March. You may donate to legal costs of Olesinov through Anarchist Black Cross of Moscow, more details on how to do this are available here: http://wiki.avtonom.org/en/index.php/Donate

Rage of subculture (first-hand account of a participator of “Direct Help” on events in club “Vozdukh”).

On Saturday 17th of December, I became an unwilling witness of incident, to which disappointed audience of the festival “East Beat Fest” took part in club “Vozdukh”, which is located at “Nizhni Susalny” side-street of Moscow. I came there to relax in a friendly atmosphere, and to listen my favorite bands.

In middle of the concert, two new persons came to work for the security – during first part of the concert, security was done by two older guys with t-shirt “security” in a shift. Visitors of the club and participators of the concert immediately paid attention to new security, as they were provoking visitors. They were demonstratively wearing “travmat”-pistols (a popular Russian self-defence weapon, which shots rubber-coated metal bullets), another hand had a tattoo with tsarist black-golden-white flag, and letters CSKA. Guys immediately admitted, that they are “listeners of patriotic rap”, and in their youth they did “trashed some blacks”. Their work consisted of gathering bottles of mineral water from and random harrassment of guests of the concert, the same time they attempted to annoy organisers by bragging that they were ultra-right football hooligans, and members of such notable hooligan firms as “Yaroslavka” and “Gallant Steeds”.

After a number of verbal conflicts with spectators, new security started to complain, that people are going in and out with weapons – this although nobody refused from being searched, and security could not find any weapons during searches. Meanwhile, concert went on, and when headliners, Engage At Will from St. Petersburg and unsubs from Kirov were supposed to perform, a fight between two spectators took place in second floor of the premises. Four persons from the security immediately ran to second floor, where they found two participators and their friends, who were currently negotiating in order to resolve the conflict peacefully. Security grabbed first person they saw, and attempted to push him down the stairs. His friends stepped up to defend him, and did not let him be pushed down the stairs.

After a long and heated debate, security withdraw, promising to solve issues with spectators in the street. They went to complain to art-director of the club, claiming that in second floor “everything was smashed”. Art-director decided to halt concert prematurely. Band members attempted to negotiate, as it was mere half hours of remaining showtime, but director threatened them with police. Organisers promised, that they would be ready to negotiate with police as well, but managers of the club asked everyone to disperse, and organisers to gather their sound system. Organisers agreed, and started to disassemble sound system. I did not witnessed what happened next, but I heard this from my punk acquintances, who helped with disassembling the sound system.

They told that security did not let some of the people to the street, promising that soon their “directors”, “mafia” and “Yaroslavka” will come, and that they will settle their disagreements with organisers of the concert. At that point, organisers had already left the premises with part of the sound system. People, whom security attempted to hold as hostages, refused to stay and wait for whatever there was to come, and headed towards exit. At this point, security grabbed his “travmat” and started to shoot at the crowd. This resulted a stampede at the exit, as people panicked after the shot, some windows got broken either due to stampede or due to shooting. How one of the armed securty personell got beaten up (and according to mainstream media, also shot with “travmat” gun and stabbed” – editorial collective of avtonom.org), is unclear.

But it is obvious, that conflict was provoked by security, or as they now claim in the media, “administrators” of the club. And they were the ones who escalated the conflict, by grabbing their guns and shooting at the people. Now wounded security promises to “give any kind of testimony”, in order to save their arses. And they accuse anti-fascists for escalation of the violence. Obviously, that such people feel that any subcultures pose a threat to them, as nobody will never accept the ridiculous ideas, with which security of the concert associates itself. As for the administrators of the clubs, we recommend them to pick up their cadres more carefully, and also to take account wishes of the organisers of the concerts, and also to follow conditions of the contract until end of the concert, otherwise their profits will disappear as smoke to the air due after a reaction of discontent public.

A member of “Direct help”.