Russia. Media: Activists protesting against the war and mobilization were tortured by the police

Three Russian activists who protested in Moscow against the war in Ukraine and the partial mobilization in Russia were detained by the services in their apartments and then tortured by the police. One of the men was raped, Radio Swoboda reported. The media also reports that an activist from St. Petersburg, who burned an effigy of a Russian soldier, was sentenced to nearly four years in a penal colony.

Young poets Artiom Kamardin, Aleksandr Popov and Aleksandr Mieniuk met on Sunday in front of the monument to the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky in Moscow and read their poems critical of the Russian authorities. After being transported to the police station, the officers forced the men to apologize for these actions. A video of Kamardin, as well as two other activists, Egor Sztovba and Nikolai Dejnka, was released in the Russian independent media, kneeling and asking the police for forgiveness.

Independent “Novaya Gazeta. Jewropa” reported that the detained men had been tortured and beaten, and had experienced sexual violence. Popov’s hair was torn out and threatened with gang rape. One of the poets, who was allegedly a victim of rape, was taken from the police station to the hospital, Radio Swoboda reported.

Detention in MoscowPAP / EPA / ANATOLY MALTSEV

The opposition Russian media recalled that two NGOs supporting victims of torture, the Committee against Torture and the Hotline, were liquidated this year by a court decision.

Penal colony for burning an effigy of a Russian soldier

Radio Svoboda also reported that St. Petersburg activist Igor Maltsev was sentenced to three years and eight months in a penal colony for burning an effigy of a Russian soldier in March. The court classified the act as “hooliganism motivated by political hatred”.

During the trial, Maltsev explained that he wanted to protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The man demanded that the Kremlin forces be withdrawn from that country and that the bodies of the fallen soldiers be transported to his homeland. His pacifist views, he admitted, were influenced by conversations with veterans war in Afghanistan, fought in the years 1979-89 by the USSR. The prosecution initially requested five years’ imprisonment for Maltsev.

Citizens are protesting against partial mobilization. Detention in MoscowPAP / EPA / MAXIM SHIPENKOV

Activist Sofia Siemionowa, who also participated in the March protest, is currently abroad. An investigation was launched against her in June, announced Radio Swoboda.

From February 24, i.e. the beginning of the invasion Russia to Ukraine, the Kremlin significantly increased the amount of penalties for allegedly “discrediting the army” and participating in anti-war protests. Under the current law, such “crimes” may result in up to 15 years imprisonment.

Protests against partial mobilization in Russia

President of Russia on September 21 Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization to war with Ukraine and threatened to “use all means” to defend Russia from the alleged threat from the West. According to official reports from the Kremlin, around 300,000 people are to be put under arms. reservists, but according to the independent portal Meduza, mobilization may involve up to 1.2 million men, mainly from outside large cities.

Protests against the decision of the head of state have been ongoing in Russia since last week. Attacks on military stations (military replenishment commands) are also recorded. The most violent outbreaks take place in Dagestan in Russia’s North Caucasus, where demonstrators have been clashing with the police for two days.

Mobilization in RussiaARKADY BUDNITSKY / PAP / EPA

The independent non-governmental organization OWD-Info estimates that the officers have already detained nearly 2.4 thousand people across the country. participants in anti-war and mobilization protests.

Putin’s decree will not affect the course wars in Ukraine this year and will not significantly increase Russia’s ability to sustain the invasion the following year. The combat value of the reservists is and will remain low, and their motivation to fight is even worse, assessed the American think tank Institute for War Studies (ISW).

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / ANATOLY MALTSEV

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