Let's see what interesting things happened last weeks in the Russian radical underground, except for the much more sensational operations of the Ukrainian special services. The title photo from mid-April shows how in three cities at once - Ulyanovsk, Rostov and Yekaterinburg - somebody hacked billboards and posted anti-war statements from mobilized soldiers or their relatives.
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Since the beginning of autumn mobilization, the Russian courts have received more than a thousand cases against the military who arbitrarily left their place of service, refused to obey an order or deserted. By the end of April 2023, Russian military courts had received 1,064 criminal cases against refusers, counted Mediazona. A sharp increase in the number of "mobilization" cases began in March of 2023 – almost 400 cases were submitted to the courts in a month. Mediazona managed to find out the result of the consideration only in every fifth case of unauthorized abandonment of the unit, most of these courts end with a suspended sentence. In accordance with the decree of Vladolf Putler, the military sentenced to a suspended sentence can be returned to the front.
As of April 21, about 40 Russian soldiers who refused to fight in Ukraine were illegally detained in the military unit of the Vladimir region. “At the moment, many “refusers” are kept in a military unit in the village of Pakino, Vladimir Region. According to the information I know, there are about forty people: both mobilized and contract soldiers. At the same time, they are there without any court decisions. The principle is this: whoever is caught leaving the unit without permission is taken to the Pachino military unit. Someone is already under investigation, someone has a pre-investigation check. Measures of restraint were not chosen by the court, but they are not released anywhere. it turns out, a colony without a sentence,” said human rights activist Ilya Demidov.
About a month ago, the Sevastopol Garrison Military Court began considering the case of Sergeant Ismail Dzangiev, who is accused of attempted murder of a commander. An incident occurred in Mariupol in March last year. Then a group of Russian soldiers was ambushed, as a result of which Dzangiev's younger brother, 20-year-old Zelimkhan, was killed. Ismail went in search of the guy. When the commander of the platoon, in which Zelimkhan was, could not clearly explain where his subordinates were, Dzangiev, distraught with grief and fear for his brother, shot at the officer’s face. The commander was somehow saved, Dzangiev was captured. A case was brought against him under articles of attempted murder and violation of the rules of statutory relationships. A man from the Republic of Inshushetia faces punishment up to life imprisonment.
More and more acts of sabotage in Podolsk near Moscow. According to information from April 13, an unknown person in a balaclava and camouflage doused the honor board of the town administration with fuel, after which he launched firecrackers at it (photo below). After the arrest, it turned out that it was a 42-year-old man. During a search of his house, they found and confiscated pyrotechnic products and clothes in which he went to the action. In our previous review you could read that before the New Year, in the same town, 8 mobilized fighters who left the front laid down their arms, and a pensioner couple tried to set fire to the enlistment office.
A 35-year-old English teacher from Kansk in the Krasnoyarsky Krai was sentenced to two years in prison for shooting at a banner advertising military service. He was found guilty of hooliganism with the use of weapons (Part 2 of Art. 213 of the Criminal Code) and threatening to kill (Art. 119 of the Criminal Code). From his words, the teacher fired at a banner in the center of Kansk from a hunting rifle registered to him. He then allegedly threatened a neighbor. In court, the man explained that he was very upset by the beginning of mobilization, he felt hopelessness due to the death of soldiers. Shot due to "accumulated stress" in order to "somehow throw out emotions." According to the teacher's mother and lawyer, they allegedly tried to accuse him of setting fire to the Kansk military commissariat with the help of torture and threats of rape.
A court in Nizhny Novgorod satisfied the claim of 19-year-old Artem Lebedev against the Russian authorities in the amount of 100,000 rubles. On September 24, he was detained on suspicion of setting fire to the enlistment center. The dental room caught fire in the military commissariat of the Leninsky and Kanavinsky districts on the evening of September 21. The fire was extinguished. Upon examination, investigators found a broken window and fragments from a glass bottle. Artem was kept in a pre-trial detention center for several days. Then they released the student on bail. During the search, a computer system unit was confiscated from him. But the cops could not find evidence of Lebedev's involvement in the arson. The student in court declared moral and physical suffering. He demanded to recover from the state 300 thousand rubles. Representatives of the police and the Ministry of Finance did not recognize the demands.
On the night of May 8, a district enlistment office in the Tver region was probably set on fire. At about 03:00, a one-story wooden building in Likhoslavl was on fire. It was noticed by a patrolman who prevented the spread of fire. 18-year-old Mikhail Lazakovich was detained the next day under suspicion of this " terrorist act" (Part 1 Art. 205 of the Criminal Code). He was sent into custody. What should be in a head to go from such a barn and die in Ukraine for yachts and palaces?
An elderly maid who tried to set fire to an enlistment center in Usinsk of the Komi Republic was declared a terrorist. The name of 61-year-old Nadezhda Kornilova from this town appeared on this official list. On the evening of April 11, the woman allegedly threw two Molotov cocktails at the front door. She was detained by a cop who was on duty at that moment and was sent to a pre-trial detention center for two months. Nadezhda is charged with Art. 205 of the Criminal Code on attempted terrorist attack.
The next story, perhaps, you already know thanks to the collective of Solidarity Zone. On April 10, the Central District Military Court in Yekaterinburg sentenced Roman Nasryev and Aleksey Nuriyev to 19 years in prison for setting fire to the administration building, which housed the military registration desk. The area of the fire was 3 square meters, the watchperson was able to extinguish it with a blanket and 5 liters of water. Roman is a 27-year-old sergeant of the Ministry of Internal Affairs department in Bakal of the Chelyabinsk region. Aleksei is a 37-year-old commander of the fire and rescue service in the same town, a foreman of the Ministry of Emergency Situations. They are friends. Roman and Aleksei must spend the first 4 years in prison, and the next – in a strict regime colony. To date, this is the cruelest sentence for anti-war arson, human rights activists write. The friends received such a long time because of the qualification of their actions under the articles “terrorist act” (Part 2 of Art. 205 of the Criminal Code) and “training for the purpose of committing terrorist activities” (Art. 205.3 of the Criminal Code). The term under the second article cannot be less than 15 years. In court, Roman said: “I decided to carry out such an action because I did not agree with mobilization, a “special military operation” and the war in general. With my action, I just wanted to show that in our city there is disagreement with the mobilization and the "special military operation." I wanted to convey my position of disagreement in this way, I wanted my voice to be heard.” Look at them:
“Friends threw several Molotov cocktails at the administration window, which houses the military registration desk, on the night of October 11, 2022. An employee of the desk, Marina Borkova, told the court that arson could destroy a card file for 4,000 people and the mobilization process in the town would be paralyzed. However, Molotov cocktails set fire only to the linoleum, and the source of the fire was liquidated by a female watchman. Perhaps such an unreasonably cruel accusation is due to the fact that the defendants in the case are from the circles conditionally loyal to the authorities: Aleksey Nureyev is an employee of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and Roman Nasryev worked as a driver in private security belonging to the National Guard. […] To date, this is the most severe sentence for anti-war arson. At the same time, the arson itself, which Roman and Aleksey committed against the backdrop of mobilization as a sign of disagreement with the invasion of Ukraine, was rather symbolic.”
Svetlana Zotova was charged in Yaroslavl with incitement to terrorism and extremism. This is the mother of 19-year-old Valeria Zotova, who is accused of intending to set fire to a supply depot, from where goods are sent to provide for the military personnel participating in the war against Ukraine. Valeria was arrested on February 16, and a month later the FSB came for her mother. On March 16, Svetlana was charged with “public calls for extremist and terrorist activities” (Part 2 of Art. 205.2 and Part 2 of Art. 280 of the Criminal Code). The reason for this was the comments allegedly posted by Svetlana to the posts of the Telegram channels Fighter Anarchist and Ukraine 24/7. Now Svetlana Zotova is under recognizance not to leave.
In the Bryansk region, border guards detained a 23-year-old guy from Novoshakhtinsk of the Rostov region, who allegedly wanted to join the Russian Volunteer Corps and fight on the side of Ukraine. As ASTRA managed to find out, the day before, on April 14, in the village of Ponurovka, officers of the FSB border department detained 23-year-old resident of the Rostov region Pyotr Kolistratov. On the same day, the Department of Inquiry of the FSB Bryansk Regional Directorate opened a criminal case against the young man on preparations for illegally crossing the state border (Art. 322 of the Criminal Code). At the same time, according to the investigation, Pyotr allegedly stated during interrogation that he had filled out a questionnaire to join the Corps, received from there a "test task" about setting fire to the enlistment office in Novoshakhtinsk. On December 10, 2022, he allegedly set fire to and received instructions from this group on how to leave the RF through Kazakhstan, but decided to leave along his route through the Bryansk region and was detained. Whether the detainee really gave such testimony, and if he did, whether it was done under torture, is unknown. One way or another, this far-right structure does not deserve support, unlike the All-People's Movement of the Legion “Freedom of Russia”, claimed most of the following actions, whose liberal views are at least a little more progressive than the Kremlin regime.
The rail guerrilla in Russia is being continued to disable the manpower and equipment transported by trains for the war in Ukraine. On the night of April 7, 2023, a failure in train schedules was noted in the Yaroslavl region. The reason is the destruction of unknown signaling units in the area of the Dubki settlement on the Moscow-Yaroslavl railway section:
On the night of April 11, railway sabotage was noted in the Moscow region. Unidentified partisans near Aleksandrovka expressed their protest against the war in the form of the arson of the signaling, centralization and blocking unit - a rather expensive and important thing in the context of traffic control automation:
On the night of April 13, for the first time, the expansion of guerrilla activities on the railway lines connecting Russia and Kazakhstan was noted. This time, the signaling units were destroyed near Orenburg:
Another several relay cabinets were set on fire on April 13 and 16 near the Vorotynsk station in the Kaluga region. After that, the FSB officers detained the suspects: three guys and a girl. In the early morning of April 23, on the Ramenskoye-Bronnitsy stretch of the Moscow region, one relay cabinet was set on fire, and two more were doused with an unknown liquid. On all three, traces of forced entry were later found - at the same time, the arsonists failed to open the cabinets.
On the night of April 19, one of the signaling units responsible for the safety and control of train traffic burned down at one of the railway crossings in Chelyabinsk. As the Movement noted, this was the seventh such action in April alone:
On the night of April 23, a 19-year-old guy and a 22-year-old girl were detained on the stretch in Anzhero-Sudzhensk of the Kemerovo region, who tried to set fire to five relay cabinets but could not open them. Later, the young people said that they acted on the instructions of a certain person from Telegram - he promised to pay 35,000 rubles for arson. The punishers seized two bottles of gasoline and a nail puller from them. Along with this, a burning relay box was noticed on the night of April 23 on the 28th km of the Seyatel-Berdsk section in Novosibirsk. The fire was quickly extinguished, and the traffic of trains was not affected. The arsonists have not yet been found.
On the night of April 25, the arson was discovered at the Bekasovo-1 – Pozhitkovo crossing in the Moscow region. Unknown people opened the transformer relay cabinet and burned it completely. At the same time, they opened the battery cabinet, but did not set fire to it. On April 27, at the Aprelevka-Selyatino railway section of the same region, automation showed a signal of false employment on one of the tracks. The door of the relay cabinet was bent, and a flammable liquid was poured inside. For some reason, the partisans did not have time to set fire to the relay cabinet. On April 29, in Novosibirsk, as a result of a guerrilla attack, the relay box burned to the ground. The rally was held in the early morning in the area of the stretch between the Hippodrome and Ob’ stations in the Leninsky district. By the time firefighters arrived on the scene, the cabinet was already completely burned out.
On May 2, somebody tried to set fire to a relay box in the Krasnodarsky Krai: аt the Agronom - Dinskaya railway station, workers found a hacked cabinet with traces of an arson attempt. Nobody has been detained. Two days later, the October Railway also reported that six electric trains were delayed in St. Petersburg due to arson of a relay cabinet by outsiders…
The anniversary of the victory over another totalitarian aggressive regime turned out to be hot. On May 4, the partisans set fire to the relay cabinet in St. Petersburg. The fire was recorded in the morning in the area of the Novaya Derevnya - Lakhta section. Six electric trains were delayed. On May 7, a relay box was set on fire in Novosibirsk. Emergency services quickly arrived at the scene. The fire was extinguished. The completely burnt cabinet supposedly did not affect the traffic of trains. On the night of May 8, in Moscow, not far from the Elektrozavodskaya - Sortirovochnaya station, two relay cabinets were burned - one for traffic light control, one for household needs. The driver noticed the fire. The burned-out electronics allegedly had no effect on the movement of trains.
Two schoolchildren were detained on suspicion of setting fire to a relay cabinet in the Republic of Tatarstan: 14-year-old and 15-year-old students of the school in Naberezhnye Chelny and some 18-year-old unemployed guy. On March 28, a case was opened on this fact about “deliberate damage to property” (Part 2 of Art. 167), and on April 25, a case on “sabotage” (Part 2 of Art. 281). The minors were given a preventive measure in the form of a written undertaking not to leave, and an 18-year-old suspect was arrested.
There are new sentences concerning the heroes of our last year materials. A verdict was passed on two Omsk residents who wanted to commit suicide because of the war. Anton Zhuchkov and Vladimir Sergeev planned to do it on March 6, 2022, when anti-war rallies were supposed to take place in Moscow. They felt depressed because of what was happening in Ukraine. The men bought the drug for this, Sergeev also planned to set fire to the paddy wagon. During the inspection, the police found incendiary mixture and flails on him. Sergeev was sentenced to 8 years in prison. He said that testified allegedly under duress. Zhuchkov was sentenced to 10 years in prison under articles "on preparation for a terrorist attack" and drug trafficking.
A court in the Ivanovo region sentenced Dmitry Lyamin, a 31-year-old resident of Shuya, to 8 years in prison on charges of attempting to set fire to an enlistment office. Lyamin was also given compulsory psychiatric treatment. According to investigators, on March 19, 2022, he threw a Molotov cocktail into the building of the local military commissariat to "destabilize the activities of the authorities." Only a window of the building was burned. Initially, Lyamin was accused of attempted arson, but then the case was reclassified as an article about a terrorist attack.
A minor received two years probation for an unsuccessful attempt to set fire to a military commissariat in the capital of Tatarstan. The girl did not have enough strength to throw a Molotov cocktail to the building, only the grass on the lawn caught fire. Her motives are eloquently stated in the case file: “The accused was dissatisfied with the special military operation being carried out on the territory of the Russian Federation.” Shortly after the announcement of mobilization last fall, she made three Molotov cocktails and went to the Kazan enlistment office in the morning. The first bottle did not reach the target, the second schoolgirl set fire to her own sleeve and got scared. She was noticed by passers-by and captured by the Russian Guard. The arsonist was placed under house arrest. She turned 18 only on March 30. She was charged with attempted intentional destruction of property. Although the building was not damaged at all, the court took into account the estimated damage: 20 million rubles. According to the media, at the trial, the schoolgirl looked depressed and answered barely audibly. All interrogated classmates and the teacher said that she was an ordinary quiet and modest teenager, she studied well, was fond of history, she was especially interested in the topic of the Second World War. During house arrest, the schoolgirl was preparing for the entrance exams.
The next news are not anti-militarist but also about social war. A 35-year-old locksmith of the Yelets water channel in the Lipetsk region, desperate to receive a salary, recorded a video in which he asked: "Where is my money? They live at my expense." After that, at about 9 a.m., he approached the building of the Yelets municipal district with two Molotov cocktails and threw at the administration. Then, he went to the court building, located on the same street, and tried to set it on fire too. The offices did not catch fire. The locksmith was arrested; now he's charged with attempted murder.
In Iskitim of the Novosibirsk region, the population has been protesting for many months against plans to open a penitentiary center near the neighbourhoods. On May 3, it became known about the arson of the building for the center in the village of Shibkovo nearby. Behind the decision to provide a place for these purposes is the Novosibirsk Poultry Farm company interested in cheap labor of prisoners. Under pressure from below, the town administration was forced to announce that there would be no prison at the site. More about this struggle in Russian.
Generally, in 2022, the number of those convicted in cases of promoting terrorism and incitement to it, riots, vandalism, and extremism reached in Russia its maximum since 2013. This follows from the statistics of the Judicial Department of the Supreme Court. Last year, 274 people were sentenced for incitement to terrorism, and 173 people were sentenced for promoting terrorism. Compared to 2021, the number of those convicted under these articles has increased by almost one and a half time. In 2022, already 212 people and 88 people were convicted for organizing extremist activities and riots, respectively, which in both cases is almost twice as many as in 2021. The number of convictions for vandalism has been on the rise since 2020. In 2022, 336 people were convicted under this article. In cases of vandalism, Russians are also being prosecuted for political reasons. For example, Vasily Devyatov from Belgorod, who was sentenced to two years in prison for an anti-war sign at a bus stop.
The fact that the war in Ukraine is becoming a factor in the internal political tension can turn into a serious problem for the Kremlin, which creates a growing risk of internal destabilization. Whether the Russian authorities will be able to solve this problem will largely depend on the course of hostilities. If the upcoming counter-offensive of the Armed Forces of Ukraine does not lead to success and Russia at least holds the front, the Kremlin will have the opportunity to quickly and relatively easily stop the fermentation. If the front crumbles, then this, in the eyes of a significant part of the Russian society, will confirm the correctness of those who declared about the grandiose problems in the Russian army and in government, and may sharply aggravate internal political processes.
At the same time, on the eve of the counter-offensive, the number of criminal sentences for evading mobilization sharply increased on the Ukrainian side too, and we gave a brief overview of their content.
Along with this, we also talked about the huge non-payment of the Ukrainian population for utilities, which is why the state gas operator hired collectors to put pressure on debtors.