OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 131: The Moscow Case has a new defendant, and the Bolotnaya Square case continues

posted 1 Dec 2019, 13:12 by Translation Service   [ updated 1 Dec 2019, 13:19 ]
30 November 2019

OVD-Info is a Moscow-based NGO that monitors politically-motivated arrests in Russia. Every Friday OVD-Info sends out a mailing with the latest news, which is translated here. To receive the mailing in Russian, visit here.


Yet another person has been charged in the Moscow Case; meanwhile, an LGBT activist from Komsomolsk-on-Amur continues her misadventures, and so does the Bolotnaya Square case.

As for us – the latest episode of our podcast is out. In it, we look at freedom of assembly in the post-Soviet space. Ksiusha Sonnaia and her guests discuss whether there is any and where to find it.

Another participant from the 27th July protests has been arrested in Moscow. 30-year-old Sergei Surovtsev has been charged with hitting an officer of the National Guard with a metal barrier. The courts ordered Surovtsev to be detained, disregarding evidence of his innocence. The investigation was completed in a day and a half.

Why do I need to know this? Summer is long past, but the Moscow Case keeps on growing. There is a risk of further arrests. The earlier we know about them, the more effectively we will be able to offer support. So, just in case, save our number (+7 (8) 800 707-05-28) and share it with your relatives. Don’t panic, but do remain vigilant. You can find the latest information about the other defendants here.

The trial of Dmitry Buchenkov, a defendant in the Bolotnaya Square case, has resumed. The investigation asked to consider the case in Buchenkov’s absence, as he left Russia in 2017. 

Why does this matter? Buchenkov was arrested in December 2015 and charged with participating in a riot; he allegedly beat police officers and attacked them with pepper-spray on 6th May 2012. Both Buchenkov himself and his relatives insist that he was not even in Moscow on that day, and that the photographic evidence is of another person.

An LGBT activist from Komsomolsk-on-Amur has been charged with promoting non-traditional sexual relations. The reason for the charges was two public pages on Russian social media site Vkontakte.

Why do I need to know this? Feminist and LGBT activist Iulia Tsvetkova is facing criminal charges for distributing pornography. She managed a youth theatre and had been planning a festival, but she was forced to cancel the event and close her studio. The security services forced a teenage actor to state that he was a victim in the case, and asked the activist’s mother for a bribe to drop the charges. Tsvetkova was about to go for interrogation when police officers approached her and told her of the fresh charges.


They couldn’t stand by and watch. On 27th July, at the intersection between Rozhdestvenka Street and Theatralny Proezd, police and National Guard soldiers beat peaceful protesters with truncheons. These precise events led to criminal charges against eight people as part of the Moscow Case. They tried to stop the violence and help the victims. Mikhail Shubin and Yana Sakhipova have analysed video footage of the events and explain what happened, in chronological order.

There are several reasons why you were expelled. The consequences of the summer protests are not all bad: students have become more proactive in defending their rights. On the other hand, this has meant that the larger universities have developed their own ways of dealing with students. Anastasiya Medvedeva uses several real-life stories to explain what methods universities are employing to put pressure on inconvenient students and how to protest against this.

All this, right under the police’s noses. Mines were planted almost every day at the recent LGBT film festival, Side by Side. The organiser of another themed film festival, Iulia Tsvetkova, is facing criminal charges. Click here to read about the persecution that people of sexual minorities and their allies have been facing all year.

Stay in touch,

Monitor Laura Fish


Each day we publish news reports and provide assistance to people who have been arrested. We very much need your assistance. After all, we depend for all our work on your support. Please sign up to make a monthly donation to OVD-Info. That way we can continue to send you your favourite mailing, our Weekly Bulletin.

Photo: An arrest at the rally on 27 July 2019. (c) Evgeny Feldman 

Translation by Judith Fagelson