OVD-Info Weekly Bulletin No. 91: Prosecuted for taking part in debates, ailing parents used for blackmail, and one-person pickets recorded as 'crimes'

posted 2 Feb 2019, 08:44 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 2 Feb 2019, 08:50 ]
1 February 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

Greetings to our readers! This week there has been a tragic event. This is the first item in our news report for this week.

In Rostov-on-Don criminal charges were brought against Anastasiya Shevchenko, a member of Open Russia. At the same time, Anastasiya's daughter died. Anastasiya Shevchenko has been charged with collaborating with an undesirable organisation. The grounds for the charges against Anastasiya were her participation in political debates and an announcement of a School of Municipal Debates. On 21 January Anastasiya Shevchenko was placed in custody, and on 23 January she was transferred to house arrest. Anastasiya is a single mother with three children: Misha (aged 7), Vlada (aged 14) and Alina (aged 17).

In court, Shevchenko’s defence requested that she be released under travel restrictions. Her lawyer showed the court documents to prove that Shevchenko’s elder daughter suffers from a congenital illness and needs regular care that her mother is unable to under house arrest. Complications can be fatal. Alina stays at a boarding school for children with special needs. The judge did not permit Anastasiya to visit her daughter and ruled that she be kept under house arrest.

On Wednesday Anastasiya's daughter Alina was hospitalized from the boarding school and moved to an intensive care unit in a critical state. Doctors said she was suffering from  obstructive bronchitis. Anastasiya learnt of this at the time that she was charged and became a defendant in the case, as opposed to a suspect. She was only allowed to see her daughter in the evening.

Yesterday Alina died.

  • How can you help? You can donate to help the family of Anastasiya Shevchenko in the following ways: via the Sberbank bankcard of Vlada Shevchenko (her daughter), No. 5469 5200 2558 8500; or via the Sberbank bankcard of her mother. Tamara Gryaznova, No. 6390 0252 9033 821530.

A staff member of the Foundation Against Corruption has told how law enforcement officers tried to persuade her to collaborate with them in exchange for help in treating her mother. Оlga Bulaeva, an office manager with the Foundation Against Corruption, was held in a special room at a metro station where a man, most likely a law enforcement officer, suggested that she collaborate in exchange for her mother receiving treatment for her health. Olga Bulaeva has two daughters aged seven and eight; her father had a stroke a number of years ago; and her mother is in an advanced stage of cancer.

  • What should you do? If an attempt is made to recruit you, make the incident public. Most likely, when that happens, the law enforcement officers will leave you in peace. If you attend a meeting with them, record what was said so that in future you will have evidence that the law enforcement agencies carried out a provocative act of this kind. We have written about how recruitment is carried out here.


Police are breaking up one-person pickets in St. Petersburg. There appear to be in St. Petersburg a number of people who apparently have a strong dislike of one-person pickets. The police, on arresting activists, refer to certain 'complaints from citizens' that have been officially registered with the police - in the registration book for complaints of crimes. We look at whether the new methods of combatting street protests are lawful.

A new criminal investigation in underway concerning participation in protest rallies. The ‘Dadin’ article four years on. Civil society activist Vyacheslav Egorov is facing criminal charges. Egorov has been fighting against waste dumps in Kolomna district. For this he has been charged with an offence under Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code which establishes criminal liability for repeated violations of the regulations governing public rallies.  The last time the article was used, Ildar Dadin was jailed. Since then the ‘Dadin Article’ has been used solely to intimidate activists. We have published a report on how Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code came into being and against whom it has been used.

The Week!

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.

Illustration: Аnastasiya Pozhidaeva for OVD-Info