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Artur Levin's column

"No ***!". Who pays the price for speaking out against the war in Ukraine and how


This material was particularly difficult for me. Because the statistics are terrifying. See for yourself.

19,536 arrests have been made for an anti-war stance.

5,601 cases were opened for "discrediting the army" under Article 20.3.3 of the Code of Administrative Offences. This is Mediazone data.

420 people are being prosecuted under criminal articles for their anti-war stance.

There have been only 29 days without arrests in Russia since February 24!

What is this if not a return to the dreaded 1937?

OVD-Info reports that in early December, eco-activist Andrei Panyushkin announced that he had set his house on fire in Krasnodar Krai. He linked it to his anti-war writings on social media. The official cause of the fire has not yet been established, but Panyushkin has received a letter from the prosecutor's office about the opening of a criminal case under Article 167 Part 2 of the Criminal Code for deliberate destruction of property.

In December, the State Duma considered and passed at least one reading of 12 repressive laws.

Among them is a regulation toughening liability for "foreign agents".

Photo: RBC

All "foreign agents" face criminal liability with two administrative fines in a year. In addition, people who are not on the registers but carry out activities of a "foreign agent" may be subject to administrative proceedings under the new law.

Not so long ago, 30 new anti-war criminal defendants were identified. Among them, for example, is the St. Petersburg activist Daniil Krinari - he was detained in Grodno, taken to Moscow and charged with collaboration with a foreign state.

Former schoolteacher Nikita Tushkanov, who published a photograph of the explosion on the Crimean bridge and is prosecuted under Art 205.2 part 2 of the Criminal Code and Art 280.3 part 1.

Valery Badmaev - editor-in-chief of Sovremennaya Kalmykiya - the same article.

Ilya Yashin was sentenced to 8.5 years' imprisonment for his webcast about Bucha. This is the longest sentence imposed under the article for spreading knowingly false information about the use of the armed forces of the Russian Federation.

Ilya Yashin during the verdict announcement
Photo: Ilya Pitalev / RIA Novosti

The court sentenced Vladimir Rumyantsev, a stoker from Vologda, to 3 years in a general regime colony.

During the entire period of the full-scale war, 51 individuals involved in the "anti-war case" are known to have been sentenced.

The Moscow Helsinki Group, the oldest human rights organization in Russia, has received a liquidation suit from the Ministry of Justice. The Urals Memorial is being evicted from its premises. The Ekaterinburg authorities came to this decision after they terminated the rental agreement with the human rights activists.

A St Petersburg city court ruled that the Vesna movement was extremist.

The Ministry of Justice recommended that Mikhail Benyash be stripped of his lawyer status on the basis of an inspection of his telegram channel. According to the official, one of the lawyer's publications "contains analogies of the Nazi regime as well as of Hitler and the president of the Russian Federation.

The authorities actively began to use the tactic of preventive detentions on public holidays.

A total of 141 people have been detained through facial recognition from security cameras in the Moscow metro.

The police actively use violence against protesters. During mass actions in both spring and autumn 2022, IAB-Info received mass reports of the use of force by law enforcement officers during arrests, in police vans and in police stations: people were rolled to the ground, dropped on the pavement, beaten with batons, strangled, punched in the stomach, in the face, eyes, their heads banged against the wall, twisted and bruised arms.

Detentions at anti-war protest, March 2022
Photo: EPA

One of the most outrageous cases this year was torture and humiliating treatment of girls in Moscow's Brateevo police station. However, this case is not the only one.

Against this background, the unprecedented emigration of Russians continues.

Thus, since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, 205,000 people have left for Kazakhstan, 264,000 for the UAE, 352,000 for Egypt, 364,000 for Turkey and 745,000 for Georgia. However, that is just for the first quarter of 2022. After the partial mobilisation was announced, the count went into the millions.

It is unbearably painful. And the numbers and the scale of the catastrophe are impossible to comprehend. But I understand everyone who left the country. After all, everyone knows: if they hit you, run!

By: Artur Levin

Cover photo: SOTA

Licence to Kill: How Europe allows Iran and Russia to eliminate regime undesirables with impunity

Licence to Kill: How Europe allows Iran and Russia to eliminate regime undesirables with impunity


"We are part of an aggressor country". Leave St Petersburg and open a bookshop in Istanbul