campaign statement about the accused

In February 2018, a campaign was launched in Russia to support those accused in the Network case. Among the main goals of the campaign were fundraising for legal costs, organizing humanitarian support for the arrested and offering support to their relatives. The resources gathered have so far been distributed according to the financial circumstances of the respective families and the needs of the arrested. Further financial support is being distributed according to the choices made by those the arrested throughout the investigation.

Currently two of the accused, Igor Shishkin, and Yegor Zorin, are firmly siding with the investigation.

Igor Shishkin has not filed a torture complaint, although traces of torture were reported on his body by the independent Public Oversight Committee (ONK). He has signed agreement prior to being present in court, which means that he has fully admitted his guilt. He is actively cooperating in the investigation of the criminal case, and also giving testimony against other suspects. If the case by the prosecution is substantiated with the testimony given by Shishkin, his sentence will be reduced (as defined in the chapter 5 of the statute 317.7 of Russian Codex of Criminal Prosecution, UPK RF). Igor is the only accused to have been visited by official Russian Ombudsman for human rights Tatyana Moskalkova, but he did not report any torture during the visit. Since then he has sided with the prosecution during a cross-interrogation with another defendant. This position is detrimental to co-defendants, and results in additional pressure for everyone struggling for themselves and for justice.

Yegor Zorin, in the autumn of 2017, after being tortured, admitted his guilt and has cooperated with the investigation ever since. He never filed a torture complaint.

In the framework of the support campaign, we do not consider it possible to support defendants cooperating with the investigation, against the interests of the other co-defendants. Thus, financial support for these defendants is not provided from the common fund. In case you want to support Shishkin, you may do so via his relatives (link).
All the defendants in the case, Shishkin and Zorin included, have been tortured and manipulated by the authorities. We are ready to provide support for Shishkin and Zorin, when they choose to take part in a collective strategy of defense, instead of an individual one.


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On the Police Raid in Pryamukhino

Mala Vida
July 20, 2018

The Pryamukhino Readings, an annual open conference, took place on July 7–8, 2018. This year, the conference attracted the notice of Russian law enforcement. Since the conference has taken place in a village school for the last eighteen years, the Pryamukhino village council and the Kuvshinovo district council were informed in advance about the conference, but they made no attempt to prohibit the event.

However, as the conference’s organizing committee later learned, police officers had visited the village council on July 6, 2018, on the eve of the conference’s opening day.

Several men in plain clothes, who showede all the signs of being law enforcement officers, attended the first day of the conference, July 7. They chatted with conference goers about abstract historical and philosophical topics, but they also wondered aloud whether there were any “terrorists” in modern Russia.

On the second day, July 8, two police cars and a car without license plates arrived at the gathering point right when the annual sightseeing excursion of Pryamukhino Estate and Pryamukhino Park was to begin. Eight policemen, including members of the Torzhok Intermunicipal Police Precinct, members of the precinct’s immigration desk, and plainclothes officers who produced no IDs (they were probably officers of Center “E” or the FSB) checked and photographed the passports of the sightseers. According to the police officers, a public nuisance complaint from an unnamed local resident was the grounds for their visit.

As a consequence of the documents check, a conference goer, Artyom Markin, a Belarusian national, was detained. He was informed he was “banned” from entering Russia, a fact that had not been brought to his attention either when he crossed the Russian border or when police checked his papers.

Markin was taken to the Torzhok Intermunicipal Police Precinct. He refused to communicate with secret service officers, since no written charges had been filed against him. He was then taken for a medical examination, because the police, allegedly, suspected him of having used psychoactive substances. After Markin refused to take the medical exam (i.e., his alleged drug use was not certified by physicians), and despite the fact that he had not shown any signs of drug use (conference goers testifed Markin had not used psychoactive substances and did not look out of the ordinary), a magistrate declared him guilty of evading medical diagnosis (Russian Administrative Offenses Code Article 6.9 Part 1) and sentenced him to three days in jail.

At the same time, on the afternoon of July 8, two of the plainclothes officers returned to Pryamuhino, explaining they had come again because, allegedly, they were looking for Markin’s girlfriend. Their presence and the need to protect conference goers from the illegal actions of the authorities generated considerable difficulties when it came to proceeding with the conference. The plainclothes officers left for Torzhok only after four in the afternoon.

After spending three days in jail, Artyom Markin was forced to leave Russia. He was issued a notification from the immigration desk of the Torzhok Intermunicipal Police Precinct prohibiting him from entering Russia until 2022.

We believe that recent events in Belarus (e.g., police roughly detained local anarchists on June 30, 2018, during a gathering in the woods), a possible call from Belarusian law enforcement and security services to their Russian counterparts, and heightened security during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia occasioned such furious actions on the part of the police. The ban on entering Russia, as issued to Artyom Markin, was justified, allegedly, in order to ensure “defense, national security or public order,” as stipulated by Article 27 of Russian Federal Law No. 114 (“On the Procedure for Departing and Entering Russia”), which outlines amendments to the law introduced during international sporting events.

Because the Pryamukhino Readings are an academic conference open to all comers, the organizers make an effort to get to know all of our attendees in order to ensure order and their own safety. However, we do not have the resources to prevent the use of force on the part of the police and curiosity on the part of the authorities.

The Pryamukhino Readings are an annual event run by volunteers. We do not cooperate with the authorities any more than is necessary for holding the conference. We have never supplied the authorities with personal information about our attendees or any additional information about them.

In the event of conflicts like the one described, above, our job is taking care of our out-of-town guests. However, we do not have the resources to provide qualified legal assistance on the spot.

We urge everyone to study the current Russian laws in order to better defend their rights when confronted by law enforcement officers, who often interpret the laws governing their own conduct too freely or falsely.

The Pryamukhino Readings Organizing Committee condemns crackdowns on social movements and independent public events, as well as the framing of social activists and the arbitrary use of administrative and other penalties in the absence of evidence and a demonstrable danger to the public.

The Pryamuhkino Readings Organizing Committee

Translated by the Russian Reader

Dmitry Buchenkov, Last Bolotnaya Square Defendant, Flees Russia

In an interview with Current Time TV, Bolotnaya Square defendant Dmitry Buchenkov said he has left Russia for a European Union country.

He said he has applied for political asylum in this country. Buchenkov failed to say exactly where he had gone.

“I’m calm about the fact I won’t be returning to the motherland soon. I won’t say leaving was easy. Psychologically, of course, I didn’t want to leave,” he noted. “The regime and the entire justice system forced me to take this step.”

He added he was currently not in touch with relatives.

When asked how he managed to cross the Russian border, the Bolotnaya Square defendant said he was “neither the first nor the last person to do it in such circumstances.”

According to Buchenkov, the Bolotnaya Square Case was “political” from the onset. He said that, after he was put under house arrest, “for six months [he] observed how the case was unfolding personally for [him]” and was convinced a guilty verdict lay in store. He said he was transferred from a pretrial detention facility to house arrest during a “brief thaw.” He was not outfitted with an electronic tracking bracelet, because the Naro-Fominsky division of the Federal Penitentiary Service had run out of them.

“I think the police investigators have long known they nabbed the wrong guy. But it was too late for them to back out,” said Buchenkov.

On the morning of November 9, Buchenkov did not show up to the Zamoskvorechye District Court for the latest hearing in his case, in which he stood accused of involvement in rioting. The Federal Penitentiary Service has accused him of fleeing, writes Current Time. Federal Penitentiary Service spokeswoman Natalya Bakharina said the defendant had “absconded,” since he was not to be found in his flat. She noted another family had been living there since November 5, and they were given keys to the flat in late October.

Buchenkov’s attorney Ilya Novikov wrote that he would refrain from commenting for the time being. In turn, Buchenkov’s other attorney, Svetlana Sidorkina, told RBC she did not know about her client’s departure from Russia.

“I don’t know about it. I do know he did not come to today’s hearing, during which the matter of whether to continue the forensic investigation or not was to have been ajudicated,” said Sidorkina.

According to her, the court decided to postpone the hearing since Buchenkov was not in attendance.

In April, at a hearing in the Zamoskvorechye District Court, Buchenkov declared himself not guilty of involvement in rioting and fighting with policemen. He was accused of violence against six Interiory Ministry officers and causing damage in the amount of 73,800 rubles to a commercial firm that set up porta-potties near Bolotnaya Square in Moscow.

Buchenkov, a 38-year-old anarchist and history teacher, was detained and remanded to custody in December 2015, thus becoming the thirty-fourth defendant in the Bolotnaya Square Case. Later, the Moscow City Court released him from custody and put him under house arrest. Buchenkov’s lawyers insisted the activist was not in Moscow during the events of May 6, 2012. The claim was corroborated by Buchenkov’s relatives in Nizhny Novgorod.

According to the defense, the police investigators who, allegedly, identified Buchenkov on video recordings of the May 6, 2012, protest rally mixed him up with another person. The defense lawyers sought to enter higher resolution photographs into evidence, but police investigators refused to take them into account.

Translated by the Russian Reader

Dzmitry Rezanovich got a fine and deportation from Russia

rezanovichOn 3 July Dzmitry Rezanovich was fined with 15 000 russian rubles and deportation from Russia. It is still unclear for how long it will be forbidden for Dzmitry to enter the russian territory.

The deportation date was not announced yet and some sources point that it is possible only after the fine will be payed. The relatives already got papers to do so.

We would like to thank everyone who supported Dzmitry financially and morally.


The FSB is expelling political activists from Russia

On the 29th of March the Federal Migration Service of Russia gave Finnish citizen Antti Rautiainen, a member of Autonomous Action, an order to leave the Russian Federation within 15 days. According to the order, Rautiainen is suspected of “making statements for the violent overthrow of the constitutional order.” Migration authorities have commented, that such decisions are made according to orders from the FSB. Rautiainen wants to appeal the decision with help of lawyers from the “Civic Action” NGO. Antti Rautiainen is an activist in the anarchist movement, participant in the prisoner support group “Anarchist Black Cross”, anti-militarist and conscientious objectors’s groups, one of the editors of the journal “Avtonom.” He has participated in the opposition protests between December 2011 and March 2012, and in many anarchist initiatives. He has been detained by authorities several times, but has never been given a misdemeanor or a felony sentence in Russia. Thus, the exile of Rautiainen is a purely political decision. Antti Rautiainen has been living in Russia since 1999. Between 1999 and 2000 he studied in a student exchange program at the Moscow State University, and between 2000 and 2010 he studied at the Peoples Friendship University of Russia, first in the department of Physico-Mathematical and Natural sciences, and then in the Ph.D. Program of the department of information technologies. For the past two years Rautiainen has worked as an IT specialist.

The temporary residence permit of Rautiainen was annulled according to statute 7.1.1. of the Federal law of the Russian Federation "On the legal status of foreign citizens in th eRussian Federation", 25th of July 2002, N115-FZ.

This statute states that "A temporary residence permit is not given to a foreign citizen, and previously given permit is annulled, in the case that the foreign citizen 1) Is making statements for the violent overthrow of the fundamentals of the constitutional order of the Russian Federation, or is by other means endangering security of Russian Federation or citizens of the Russian Federation"


A personal account from Antti Rautiainen:


In the far North-West of a once mighty empire, there is a distant province, mostly known due to the sluggishness of its inhabitants. They have still not gotten rid of the statue of a czar, who ruled 150 years ago, in the central square of their capital. Inhabitants of the province have never won a single war, but they have a plenty of other reasons to be proud - for example, a ski-jumper who achieved a lot in 1980, but has since then struggled with a substance abuse problem.

This province is in a state of stagnation, but its inhabitants are relieved from death by boredom, as they have the option to travel to St. Petersburg on weekends and carouse. And to such distant and boring provinces the Third section of His Imperial Majesty's Own Chancellery
used to exile youth, who got carried away by the many temptations of the capital, and made toasts to the Decemberists. Now, the Federal Security Service has exiled me there, for crimes just as outrageous.

How do I feel now? Soon I will be 33 years old, of these, I have lived 13 in Russia. How did I end up living in Moscow, I will write another time, but now, my job, my flat, most of my friends, beloved person and all my modest belongings are in Russia. I do not have a single
Finnish-speaking friend, or even an acquaintance in Moscow. I only speak Finnish when I visit my parents or old friends in Finland, 3-4 times a year. I cannot even say, whether I think more often in the Russian or Finnish language.

When Finland was my country of residence, I had no mobile phone, and I did not pay with euros but with Finnish marks. I never searched for a flat in Finland, nor a job, except summer-time student jobs, I never had a bonus card at a chain store. I know how it is to be a kid or a teenager in Finland, but I do not have the slightest idea about how grown-ups are living there.

My temporary residence permit was annulled, with a reference to the following statutes of the migration law of Russian federation: "A temporary residence permit is not given to a foreign citizen, and previously given permit is annulled, in the case that the foreign citizen 1) Is making statements for the violent overthrow of the fundamentals of the constitutional order of the Russian Federation, or is by other means endangering security of Russian Federation or citizens of the Russian Federation"

Is that really what I am doing?

First, in the Russian Federation "order" and "constitution" are two fundamentally different issues. Whoever is following what is happening in this country, can easily point out plenty of chapters of the constitution, which have nothing to do with the current order of things. FSB did not bother to point out, if it is the "current order" or the "constitition" I am making statements against.

However, it is not only the current order which is the problem, but the constitution as well. For example, I have no idea what the point is in having a president or a state duma. If we wanted a democracy, it would be more consistent to realise it through direct democracy and imperative mandates, which was the original meaning of the word "democracy". And obviously, there can be no democracy in a situation, in which a small part of the population owns billions, and others barely have a living wage, or are living based on a subsistence economy in the first place.

Second, I definitely have never made any statements for the VIOLENT overthrow of the constitutional order of the Russian Federation. For sure, violence might be necessary, but I have nothing against a relatively non-violent model of revolution through a general workers' strike.

And am I really a "security threat to the Russian Federation"? I would like to be, but honestly speaking, I doubt it.

Me and few dozens of my friends have a tradition to run through the streets of Moscow few times a year, wave red and black flags and yell slogans against the regime. The content of this ritual varies, but the form is always pretty much the same. In order to promote this concept, we founded the Moscow group of the "Autonomous Action"-organisation more than ten years ago. Back then, besides me and two friends of mine, with whom we founded the group, in the city there were no more than five other anarchists, interested in organising such actions. Even now, our concept has still not gained the support of the movement as a whole. As traditionally, Russian anarchists consider that "action" means stabbing someone with a dagger, or at least blowing something up or burning it down. If you don't have the guts for that, then write some wise books and discuss them in the kitchen.

During the last ten years, several thousand people participated in our actions. For the majority of them, one or two times was enough, and they found some other interests. And now, 10 years after, we are not many more. Of course I hope, that all those thousands now have some experience of resistance, and if one day the authorities act far too outrageously, they will join us. Something like that happened, when in April of 2008 cops were brutally torturing youth in the Sokolniki police station, and in Khimki almost two years ago it was the same. It is true, that maybe half of the people at the Khimki action were at their first demonstration ever, and many of the other people there had nothing to do with the anarchist movement.

But if the FSB now, after all those years of following us, decided that our concept has some perspective, it at least gives some hope that I did not waste the best years of my life.

The first time I met with FSB operatives was 11 years ago. I already wrote about the three people, with whom I founded Moscow group of Autonomous Action. About the fourth one was an FSB agent, who infiltrated our group. He presented himself as Alexey Tushin, and only many years later we learned, that apparently his real surname is Krutov.

Krutov had a dull, pale and flegmatic face, under his nose - a blonde moustache. He had some similar features to a mouse. Back then, normal anarchists always came half an hour or an hour late to meetings, whereas he came 15 minutes beforehand - already from this I should have drawn
the conclusion that he was scum. Due to lacking any talent whatsoever, Krutov's career as an infiltrator came to a swift end, and apparently he has not made any progress with it since. Eleven years have passed, and he is working with the same issues. I feel offended, that we are monitored exclusively by the most miserable and hopeless secret service operatives. But obviously, every FSB academy graduate with any amount of intelligence, has long made it into the economic crimes department and is living well off with the bribe money made there.

Why did Krutov decide to infiltrate our group? Perhaps because back then, we supported some of the arrested members of the "New Revolutionary Alternative", an underground group which made various actions, such as the night-time bombing of the Moscow FSB reception in Kuznetski Most.

The political program of the NRA was vague, some of their actions rather stupid - I supported them mostly because they were friends of my friends. Now I understand their motivations better, but back then, Krutov drew the conclusion that we were not about to continue on the NRA path. Perhaps, due to his reports, the FSB considered that I posed no security risk for the ten years that followed. Shortly before Krutov was uncovered, one comrade of mine ended up at an interrogation with another FSB operative, which also had the pale face of a mouse. The officer was straightforward, agreeing that action of my friend was just some drunken stupidity, but he promised 3 or 4 years in prison, if my friend was not ready to cooperate. This "cooperation" would mean hinting to the FSB about any planned unsanctioned actions, and also reporting on the
activities of all the foreign activists in Moscow - "with the exception of Antti Rautiainen, as he is not a dangerous type - he is in Russia exclusively in order to evade military service in Finland".

If they changed their minds about us, maybe it is because after a break of almost ten years, now Moscow anarchists are once against blowing things up and burning things down. And once again - some of these actions are stupid, I do not think it makes any sense to declare an individual war and to burn police cars and police stations just because they are police cars and stations. But some other actions, such as the arsons against the construction machinery in the Khimki forest - well, they are right on target.

Maybe this is happening because after ten years of stubborn organising, the Moscow anarchist movement has finally reached a scale, where  it is no longer obvious, who should be nicked after such actions. Or perhaps these actions have nothing to do with the activism of "Autonomous
Action",which does not result in anything more serious than misdemeanor charges.

But in any case, after the FSB and the "Center to Counteract Extremism" failed dismally in their search for "insurrectionist anarchists", they decided to start the harassment of the Autonomous Action of Moscow. And why not - money has been wasted, results are zero, but they need to write an account. And maybe it is not such a bad thing after all - let them spy out who to fine 500 roubles for organising an unsanctioned demonstration, while in some other place, someone is planning more radical actions.

But maybe the most likely explanation is that there are no special plans against me or against Autonomous Action of Moscow, and this has nothing to do with an increase of repression after elections. When my application for a permanent residence permit was passed from the Federal
Migration Service to the FSB, it may have ended up on the desk of some 22-year old idiot, who just finished his studies - or maybe some loser just a few years away from a pension. The bureaucrat checked my file, and just for some change in his boring work, put a red stamp on my
papers. Just as some other bureaucratic nobody decided to give a green light just two years ago, when they were handling my appeal for a temporary residence permit. I do not think my file has changed a lot during these last two years. In Russia, many things depend on a completely random course of events and on the feelings of bureaucrats, and it is completely possible that this time too, it was enough to wreck a multitude of human relations, and to completely change the course of my life.

My texts in website, written with pseudonym  “S2W”:

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