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The tenth point of the leaflet addressed to RF president V. V. Putin says: “ The renewal of political repressions in Russia. The National-Bolsheviks Gromov, Tishin, Globa-Mikhaylenko, Bespalov, Korshunsky, Yezhov, Klenov, who stood up against the robbing of the people are political prisoners. The victims of political arbitrariness are such people as the physicist Danilov and the lawyer Trepashkin, punished altogether only for their independent behavior.”

While in detention in Lefortovo in 2001 I wrote and sent a political document – an open letter to the RF president entitled: “You have tightened the wrong screws and turned the wheel in the wrong direction”. The nazbols received this document and published it in the form of a brochure. In this document I examine many internal and external aspects of the president’s policies, it was only the second year of Putin’s rule then, but many things have already become clear. I will myself here in order to avoid reinventing some precise expressions. Here is what I wrote about the trials of the opponents of that time, logically addressing myself to Putin.

Famous show trials are defaming, shaking and worrying the country. Most probably they were started by your statement about the only dictatorship that you would like to introduce, the “dictatorship of law”. The Prosecutor General, the FSB, the police and the courts took your statement as a presidential order and hurried to execute it. However the following happened: neither the FSB, nor the Prosecutor General, nor other “services” were ever reformed and have heard about democracy and freedoms only on television. Most of the staff of these powerful organizations graduated from the Soviet school. Their mentality has frozen on the 1956 level. Independently from the staff’s age, totalitarian mentality is transmitted as a corporative spirit. Your order about a “dictatorship of law” turned into several series of trials.

1. The trials of “spies”. In this category we can put the trials of military journalists, scientists, ecologists and diplomats. The trial of captain Nikitin, the trial of Gregory Pasko (arrested in 1997 and accused of spying for Japan and of betraying the Motherland), the trial of Sutyagin, the trial of the diplomat Moyseyev (accused of spying for South Korea) and many others. Trials of “spies” consist of a different understanding by the State and the individual: what is secret and what isn’t during Putin’s rule. However until 1999 the ways, introduced by the State, that ruled in the RF were such that nothing was considered secret. Subsequently the State did not bother to announce that new secrecy rules were introduced. And it couldn’t have announced it because such rules were not introduced; simply now people were tried for what was encouraged before. The trials of “spies” are still ending in a disgrace for the investigation, but in years of unjust detention for the defendants. Why? Because two mentalities are clashing here: the 1965 worldview of the Soviet KGB and the Prosecutor General with the worldview of a modern scientist and ecologist at the end of the XX century.

(This is how I understood the situation in 2001. This is how I understand it in 2005. My comment: I did not understand then that the trials of the scientists as well as of other groups of society were made to scare, create an atmosphere of fear in the country. The goal was to paralyze society’s will in order to abuse the population easier. Many “cases” over the “spies” were started when VVP was still FSB director, possibly he started them. And I was wrong that the “spy” trials end with a disgrace for the investigation. If Nikitin, Pasko and Moyseyev made from three to four and a half years of prison each, then Igor Sutyagin and Valentin Danilov, the physicist from Krasnoyarsk, were sentenced to a merciless 14 years each. The trials of scientists continue. This year the former director of the Institute of problems related to the over-plasticity of metals (IPSM) Oscar Kaybishev was arrested. He is accused of sending technologies of “double assignment” to South Korea. What is meant is simply titanium discs for car wheels. The trial of Kaybishev started in Ufa on November 10th. In all he can be sentenced to ten years of detention.)

2. There is another series of trials: the trials of oligarchs. These trials are obviously called to prove to the population that here everybody is equal before the law and the “criminal” oligarchs, guilty of crimes, will be sentenced like any normal citizen. However the oligarchs’ trials prove something else. The three most famous oligarchs’ cases: Bykov’s case, Zhivilo’s case and Gusinsky’s case. In the first two the accusations are based exclusively on testimonies made by criminal authorities. It is the actual criminal Struganov, in Bykov’s case and Kharchinko in Zhivilo’s case as well as criminal authorities, leaders of criminal gangs. The single fact that the dictatorship of law is carried out with the help of people, whom society considers criminal, causes society to have a negative attitude towards the law and its representatives. (Besides, the “crimes”, both in Bykov’s and in Zhivilo’s case, were not carried out yet, but only, supposedly, planned.) The FSB and the Prosecutor General simply don’t have the right to behave in a “civilized” State, like they behave in Bykov and Zhivilo’s cases! Believe me, mister President; I have spent 20 years in civilized countries. This is disgraceful and illegal. Besides there are persistent rumors in the country that the true goal of Bykov and Zhivilo’s cases is to take away their property: KRAZ and NKAZA shares, to benefit other oligarchs. If it’s true, does it mean that you can order the doom of an oligarch to the FSB and the Prosecutor General? I pray God it isn’t true. Zhivilo is hiding, Bykov is in Lefortovo, while hundreds of other oligarchs, whose wealth began from crimes and fraud, are in liberty. It turns out that your justice is selective. Concerning the case of the oligarch Gusinsky, then, like the overwhelming majority of Russia’s intelligentsia, I have received the complete certainty, watching how the “dictatorship of the law” is carried out over him, that the reason of his “case’s” apparition was the long tongue of NTV – a TV channel opposed to Putin. This is already a question of freedom of speech and whether the Prosecutor General wanted it or not, they have destroyed an oppositional TV company. By the way the courts of the “civilized” countries disagreed with your prosecution and refused to extradite: Spain refused to extradite Gusinsky and France – Zhivilo… Possibly, if Bykov were not in Hungry, but in a more civilized country, he wouldn’t be in a Lefortovo cell.

(This is how I saw the situation in 2001. I saw it right. God did not give me what I asked for. It turned out that yes; you can really order to doom an oligarch to the Prosecutor General and the FSB. The biggest one if the client is Russia’s president. For two years now the country is watching how Khodorkovsky’s empire and himself were ruined, drowned and destroyed. At the same time we watched how another oligarch – Roman Abramovich has fantastically risen, became governor of Chukotka, owner of Chelsea and received 13 billion dollars for the Sibneft Company directly on his offshore accounts. Abramovich was paid with our money, dear Russians. In other words, we see how one oligarch was just brought to the Chitin region, in the city of Krasnokamensk, where the wind is dispersing uranium dust and the other has fantastic immunity. What a dictatorship of law is that? This is the toughest, harshest abuse. Actually, some say that Abramovich is only the manager of the Yeltsin family’s money. Then it is different. Today I get the impression that the investigators and prosecutors were only practicing their skills on “Bykov’s case” and “Zhivilo’s case”, preparing for a big case. Today I feel proud of myself that I was not scared to defend Bykov and have written the book “The Hunt for Bykov”, despite A. P. Bykov’s ambiguous reputation.)

3. Another large group of trials: “trials of terrorists”. The Pyatigorsk trial of Mukhanin and Saralyev ended with the jury’s founding them innocent of committing the terrorist act of October 6th 2000 in Pyatigorsk. In the Stavropol region there is an ongoing closed trial of Karachaevo-Cherkessia residents: the brothers Bastanov, Bayramukov, Frantsuzov and Taganbaev. Allegedly they were keeping explosives that were used at the bombings of the houses in Moscow and Volgodonsk. On the first day of trial the defendants said that they are innocent, that their confessions were made under physical and psychological pressure during their detention in Lefortovo. I have personally shared a cell with a man who has forced Frantsuzov to sign a “sincere confession” for a month and a half. He boasted (this man, Alexey T.) that he forced Frantsuzov to write a confession. This guy also intimidated me. This is how the “dictatorship of law”, which you have announced, is carried out, Mr. President. I will not touch the monstrous accusations Novaya Gazeta brought against the FSB. However I want to bring my accusation against the FSB – of murder. During the FSB investigation of the activities of the National-Bolshevik Party and mine personally (in the frames of the criminal case Number 1717) A. Burigin and V. Zolotarev – my Party comrades, two of those who went to Altai with me /…/ were killed. Zolotarev was thrown out of the window and Burigin died from a hemorrhage to the brain that followed a blow on the head with a heavy object.”

(My commentary of November 2005. Sasha Burigin died on the night when the FSB carried out searches and interrogations concerning the case Number 171, on March 30th 2001. Most probably they were interrogating him and overdid it. After these two deaths a National-Bolshevik who was investigating Viktor Zolotarev’s death died in October 2002 under a train in Barnaul. In 2004, on October 30th two nazbols, Alexey Volkov and Andrey Nefedov, died also under a train in Ryazan (they were sticking leaflets) under unexplained circumstances. Almost at the same time the National-Bolshevik Mikhail Sokov was found dead in Moscow; he died from injuries. I have all the reasons to believe that these dead bodies can be put on the account of the special services’ activities against the NBP. It is significant that the corresponding literature names these two methods: throwing a body out of a window and death under the wheels of a train, as the favorite methods used by the KGB to cover its actions against its enemies as natural deaths. The train and the fall out of the window also hide well the injuries inflicted during the interrogations (and traces of torture). It is interesting that very recently one of the activists of Yabloko’s Defense Roman Shubin mysteriously died under a train. It happened in the end of July 2005.

Concerning the trials of terrorists, it is unnecessary to remind that those who are accused of terrorism must be judged severely but justly. It is criminal to punish innocent people. This is a clear legal axiom, however not for Putin’s Russia. Then, after the jury discharged Mukhanin and Saralyev, in violation of all legal norms, they were tried again and received heavy sentences. Frantsuzov’s group was mercilessly condemned, although nothing on the trial fitted together. The man who allegedly led the group, Achimez Gochiyaev, is hiding somewhere on the Caucasus. He testified that his was blindly used. That he really rented offices for his construction firm. Gochiyaev acknowledges that he rented the offices on the demand of his partner, which, as he thinks, was linked to the FSB. Gochiyaev affirms that he did not know that they would bring explosives there. After two bombings he realized that he was blindly used and called the police and the ambulance and gave the addresses of two other offices he was renting. In this manner he managed to avoid two bombings. However the investigation hid this fact and sentenced a group of Caucasians, whom Gochiyaev allegedly led. I have already told by what methods the evidence was obtained in Lefortovo: with the help of Alexey T.’s fist.

In Lefortovo I was detained with Raduyev’s group, quickly formed from people who did not even took part in the second Chechen war. It was composed of four people: Raduyev himself, Atgeriev, Alkhazurov and a forth, whom I do not remember. The trial took place in December 2001 in Dagestan. Salman Raduyev received a life sentence, Atgeriev – 15 years and Alkhazurov – five, I think. A few months later Raduyev and Atgeriev were dead. They suddenly died in prison. Simpler said, they were killed. (According to some, Alkhazurov, with whom I was detained in cell Number 32 in 2001, also died). They were young, about 35 years old. Another “terrorist”, Lecho Islamov also known as The Beard, died (he was poisoned) right after his trial, when he was on his way to prison; he was sentenced to eight years. This is what, Vladimir Vladimirovich, you call “dictatorship of law”, to try and then to kill? Your law is a satanic one. Inhuman. Sure, Raduyev is guilty of killing people. So you could have shot him during the arrest. Or let him suffer the rest of his life in prison. But to try and then to kill is the satanic dictatorship of law. This is a crime, Vladimir Vladimirovich. If not yours, then of your officers who carry out the dictatorship of the law. There are already scores of trials of terrorists in our country. It is perfect if the responsible are punished according to the level of their responsibility. But when people are punished only to give society a fake version of victory: there was a crime – here is the punishment, but if you punished the wrong people, – then such a punishment is a crime too, mister President!)

In the text of the open letter of 2001 I did not mark out the “political trials” in a separate group. In part because all the trials shaking the country, initiated by you and by your servants for paralyzing us, the people, all these trials serve a political goal – repressing us, frightening us, therefore they are all political: the trials of “spies”, oligarchs and terrorists. But political trials proper, against the members of political parties and other opponents have also appeared and already represent a rather significant phenomenon.

4. The “political” trials. In their leaflet, 39 nazbols have called their comrades, seven condemned for the peaceful occupation of a few offices in the health ministry, political prisoners. They were accusing: “ The renewal of political repressions in Russia. The National-Bolsheviks Gromov, Tishin, Globa-Mikhaylenko, Bespalov, Korshunsky, Yezhov, Klenov, who stood up against the robbing of the people are political prisoners.” I remind that on August 2nd about half a hundred National-Bolsheviks entered the health ministry and, hanging NBP flags in the windows, protested against the State Duma’s adoption of the law on monetization. (I have examined the law in detail in the corresponding chapter of this book.) The first who came across from that group of 50 nazbols were caught and these seven were sentenced on December 20th each to five years of detention on articles 213 part 2 of the RF Criminal Code (delinquency organized by a group) and 167 part 2 (destruction of property). This, despite the qualified reports of jurists and human rights activists who affirmed that the National-Bolsheviks’ actions did not contain article 213, since they did not hit anybody, did not injure, not even pushed (and an act of delinquency supposes physical violence against a person), and the damage brought to the building (i.e. article 167) was not done by the nazbols but by the OMON officers who broke down the doors and partly damaged the furniture in the offices. Subsequently under the pressure of the public, Moscow’s municipal court was forced to mitigate the sentences to the seven. Four were sentenced to three years of detention each and the three younger – to 2,5 years each. The nazbols behaved bravely during the trial; no one pleaded guilty. Now they serve their sentence in different prisons of Russia. The older – Maxim Gromov is the worse treated. He is actively pressured.

Sentenced to three years of detention and detained in a prison in Bashkiria (450049, Ufa, Novozhenova Street, 86 "À", 394/9) to the moment of this book’s writing Maxim Gromov has already spent 125 days in an isolation cell. I remind that this was the same Maxim Gromov who has thrown president Putin’s portrait on the street from the office of minister Zurabov in the health ministry on August 2nd 2004. Caught by camera lenses, the flying portrait has made the news not only in Russia but in the world press as well. Now Gromov is punished for this, left to rot in the hole. He cannot meet his relatives and parcels with food (or other) are not allowed. FSB officers enter and leave the prison like their home, interrogate and intimidate Gromov. We know extremely little about his state of health. We only know that they want to detain him in a camp prison, the so-called PKT – covered location. The name speaks for itself: in a PKT the person is totally isolated from the world, in other words, it is in realty a strict prison detention. They are also trying to add another prison term to Gromov. He does not send or receive mail; there is no communication whatsoever. All that we know about Gromov was obtained literally bit by bit. At the same time the three National-Bolsheviks who were sentenced on “the health ministry case” to two and a half years each, have already served half of their time. In order to receive the possibility to try to leave prison before term on probation they have to pay a civil action from the health ministry of 147 thousand rubles. The party is ready to pay that action, but when our lawyers demanded the health ministry to give them the number of the accounts, where we could send the money, the representatives of the ministry told us that they refuse the money. Oh no, it is not a generous gesture of the ministry’s functionaries, but another evil deed. The problem is that the seven arrested for the August 2nd action will not be able to leave prison on probation if they do not pay the action and will have to serve the whole term. As we see, meanness is a widespread quality among the Russian functionaries.

By the way, the Tverskoy court composed of the judge E. Stashina, S. Ukhnaleva and D. Popov have directly recognized that the defendants were political prisoners in their verdict. I will allow myself to cite the verdict:

They have committed the crimes in the following circumstances. In relation to the discussion of legislation about the reformation (monetization) of benefits in the State Duma of the Russian Federation, ‘leaders’ of the informal association ‘National-Bolshevik Party’ (NBP) non established by the investigation, under the pretext of protesting against the carrying out of the social reforms and the cancellation of the benefits in the end of July – beginning of August 2004, have decided to gather the members of their informal association residing in different regions of the Russian Federation in order to carry out, on August 2nd 2004, an unsanctioned meeting in front of the Ministry of health and social development of the Russian Federation situated at: Moscow, Neglinnaya Street, 25. With the goal of flagrant disturbance of the public order and the destabilization of a State institution’s functioning, the ‘leaders’ have also developed a plan, distributing the roles between the members of the informal association ‘National-Bolshevik Party’ (NBP) in their illegal penetration in the administrative building of the RF Ministry of health and social development during the above-mentioned unsanctioned meeting.” Etc. The entire verdict is a sample of lies. It turns out that the nazbols made the run over the ministry for the pleasure of disturbing the order. It is not surprising that after the trial the prosecutor S. A. Tsirkun became hysterical near the courtroom and squealed to the parents of the convicted: “I hate you, damned communists! You butchered my grand father…”

As for Mikhail Trepashkin, the authorities persecute him exclusively because he rebelled against the system, part of which he was for a long time. Former FSB investigator, then investigator of the tax police, on November 15th 1998 he took part in the much-talked-of press conference of FSB officers. On the press conference six officers (a colonel, two lieutenant colonels, two majors and a senior lieutenant) have told that the FSB has a department called URPO whose work consists of extrajudicial reprisals, murders and kidnappings. They have given precise examples, when, whom and what. A special State Duma commission was created then to investigate, but the commission has not even called one of the officers. Since then Trepashkin is persecuted and arrested, just as another officer – Alexander Litvinenko (to whom the URPO commander Kamyshnikov ordered to kill Berezovsky: “You know Berezovsky, so you’ll kill him”), forced to escape from Russia after a few arrests. Subsequently Trepashkin was shortly the lawyer of the residents of the ill-fated house in Ryazan, where FSB “exercises” were taking place, very similar to the preparation of a bombing. (Even before the press conference, when he still was an FSB officer, the unaccommodating and honest Trepashkin was investigating the circumstances surrounding an arms delivery from Russia to Chechnya and discovered that Russian generals were behind that.) After the conference Trepashkin was arrested several times. From 2002 he is detained in the Lefortovo prison under investigation. On May 19th 2004 he was sentenced to four years of detention on charges of disclosure of a State secret (article 283 of the criminal code). On August 19th 2005 Nizhny Tagil’s Tagilostroevsky district court has satisfied Trepashkin’s appeal about a release on probation. On August 29th Trepashkin was released. On September 18th 2005 Trepashkin was arrested again and sent to prison IK-13 of Nizhny Tagil. He is really “only punished for his independent behavior”.

On December 14th 2004 the 39 nazbols – authors of the leaflet “We don’t need such a president!” became political prisoners and are detained under trial on the moment that I am writing these lines. (Actually, at first, they were forty people, however, after they kept him a month in jail, the authorities finally released the youngest – the fifteen-years-old Petrov.) Among them there are nine girls and seven minors; the criminal case Number 300188 was opened against them. Here are the names of the heroes, according to their prison:

In the Butyrka prison (127055, Moscow, Novoslobodskaya Street, 45, IZ-77/2) are detained: Vladimir Angirov, Semen Vyatkin, Ilya Guryev, Alexey Devyatkin, Ivan Drozdov, Alexey Zentsov, Ivan Korolev, Vladimir Lind, Egor Merkushev, Sergey Reznichenko, Sergey Ryzhikov, Dmitry Sevastyanov, Yury Staroverov and Maxim Fedorovykh.

In the Presnenskaya prison (123308, Moscow, 1st Silikatny Street, 11, 1, IZ-77/3) are detained: Yury Bednov, Damir Valeyev, Mikhail Gangan, Andrey Gorin, Alexey Kolunov, Evgeny Korolev, Denis Kumirov, Kirill Manulin, Denis Osnach, Artem Perepelkin, Julian Ryabtsev, Alexey Tonkikh and Vladimir Tyurin.

In the prison for minors (125130, Moscow, Vyborgskaya Street, 20, IZ-77/5) are detained: Maxim Baganov, Alexey Rozhin and Alexey Solovyev.

In the women’s prison (109383, Moscow, Shosseynaya Street, 92, IZ-77/6) are detained: Lira Guskova, Valentina Dolgova, Marina Kurasova, Ekaterina Kurnosova, Alina Lebedeva, Elena Mironycheva, Anna Nazarova, Evgenya Taranenko and Natalya Chernova.

At first, all 39 were charged with three articles of the RF criminal code: article 214 (vandalism), article 167, part 2 “Premeditated destruction of property that has caused significant damage and other grave consequences” and article 278 “Forcible seizure or forcible retention of power” (liable to imprisonment for a 12 to 20 years term). However the Kremlin realized that it has overdone in its anger. On February 16th and 17th they were charged with a new accusation (article 214, 167 and 278 were excluded) on article 212, part 2 “participation in mass disorders”.

The Antimilitary Club, a human rights organization, has developed an analysis of the charges brought against the nazbols. I cite here most of their text:

The decisions of Moscow’s Prosecutor General’s investigators about the charges brought against the defendants are illegal and unfounded for the following reasons:

Despite the affirmations of the indictment, the NBP ‘leaders’ did not have the goal of organizing mass disorders – flagrant disturbance of the public safety and order and the destabilization of a State institution’s functioning ‘under the pretext of protesting against the foreign and domestic policies carried out by the RF president in Russia.’ A group of young citizens of the Russian Federation has carried out an unsanctioned meeting in the mentioned office against the authorities’ policies, in particular the anti-popular and unreasoned monetization of benefits. It is the fact of carrying out an unsanctioned meeting that is reflected in the charges.

Similarly false is the Prosecutor General’s affirmation that the NBP members hindered the carrying out of the powers of the employees of the reception room of the Administration of the Russian federation’s president, among them leaders of the Russian State, placed on them by the Constitution of the Russian federation and other federal laws and that consist of receiving the population and examining demands from citizens of the Russian Federation, since these powers of the President’s Administration’s employees are not placed on them either by the RF Constitution or other Federal laws, while the Russian State’s leaders do not receive the population in office Number 14 either on the base of normative acts or practically.

The demands of the NBP members were not characteristic of an ultimatum; they did not present the RF President’s resignation, outside of the order stipulated by the RF Constitution, as a condition to liberate the office they occupied. As for the demands of the RF President’s voluntary resignation, they are not illegal, but in the contrary are the realization of the legal right of RF citizens to freedom of speech, stipulated by article 29 of the RF Constitution.

Since the unsanctioned meeting was carried out only in one room of office Number 14, the affirmation of Moscow’s Prosecutor general about the ‘destabilization of the normal functioning of a State institution’ is unfounded.

Besides, neither the hindering of State employees from fulfilling their powers of receiving the population, nor the presentation of ultimatums demanding to remove the Russian Federation president from power, nor the destabilization of the normal functioning of a State institution constitute a criminal offense, stipulated by article 212 part 2 and were mentioned by the Prosecutor General in the text about the charges without any relation to the brought accusation.

The text with the mentioned charges contains unfounded affirmations that the NBP members were flagrantly violating public safety and were expressing clear disrespect to society.

According to article 1 of the RF Law from March 5th 1992 Number 2446-I ‘On safety’ (with amendments from December 25th 1992 and June 25th 2002) ‘the main objects of safety are: the person – his rights and freedoms; society – its material and spiritual values; the State – its constitutional order, sovereignty and territorial integrity.’

The defendants did not infringe on any of the objects of public safety established by the Law. Thus, the Prosecutor General’s affirmation is not based on law.

Equally unfounded is the affirmation that the defendants expressed disrespect to society. In the contrary, the defendants’ motives were deeply social, ethical and directed at the defense of socially significant values and interests: such as the social protection of the pensioners and disabled persons, Russia’s territorial integrity and others.

The qualification of the defendants’ actions as participation in mass disorders (on article 212 part 2 of the RF Criminal code) is unfounded. The RF Criminal code does not give a definition of ‘mass disorders’, however the legal doctrine supposes that ‘the intensity of public threat from mass disorders is defined by the sole existence of a large mass of people, unamenable to control, which creates an important psychological tension in a certain region or district of their residence; secondly, by the spontaneous nature of the behavior of the crowd’s participants’ (Course of criminal law. Volume 4. Special part ed. by the law Ph.D. professor G. N. Borzenkov and the law Ph.D. professor V. S. Komissarov M., 2002) Characterizing mass disorders A. N. Traynin pointed out: ‘The masses are a changing crowd with free access and free exit of the participants (Traynin A. N. Criminal law. Special Part. Crimes against the State and the social order. M. 1927. p.110) It is the indefinitely large circle of participants and the element of spontaneity that allow to separate mass disorders from similar crimes and offenses (delinquency, petty delinquency, premeditated destruction and damage of property, etc.) committed by two individuals or more.

In the decision text the Prosecutor General points out the organized nature of the defendants’ actions and the fact that the circle of participants of the unsanctioned meeting was defined beforehand. Thus, the event of mass disorders was absent in this case.

As mass disorders signs stipulated by article 212 of the RF CC, the Prosecutor General says the defendants made a ‘pogrom’ and destroyed property, which, however, does not correspond to the objective circumstances of the case.

The RF CC does not give a legal definition of the notion of ‘pogrom’. D. N. Ushakov’s explanatory dictionary defines ‘pogrom’ as ‘a reactionary and chauvinist protest, mass beating of some group of population by the crowd, accompanied by murders, destruction and theft of property, organized by the government or the ruling classes. The Jewish pogroms in tsarist Russia, in the Poland of the pans, in the Rumania of the boyars and in fascist Germany. The Armenian pogroms in the Turkey of the sultans. And S. I. Ozhegov’s Russian Dictionary – as ‘a reactionary and chauvinist protest against some national or other group of population, accompanied by destruction and theft of property and mass murders.’ Obviously the defendants’ actions were not accompanied by anything of the sort and cannot be qualified as ‘pogrom’.

The property enumerated in the charges was not destroyed, but only damaged, which also does not give the grounds for qualifying the defendants’ actions by article 212 of the RF CC.

Proceeding from the above-stated, the participants of the unsanctioned meeting in the Public reception room of the RF President’s Administration are not subject to amenability on articles 212 part 2 of the RF CC but can only be subjected to administrative charges stipulated by article 20.2 part 1 and 2 (Violation of the established order of organizing and holding meetings, demonstrations, marches or pickets), 20.17 (unauthorized entry in a guarded unit) and 20.1 (petty delinquency – other actions demonstratively violating public order) of the RF AC.

But great is the anger of those in power against the young people who dared to protest against the president. Therefore from June 30th Russia’s young intelligentsia is being tried like wild beasts in three iron cages in Moscow’s Nikulinsky court (they did not find a suitable room and cage in the Tverskoy court). Nobody pleaded guilty. I will cite here one of the open letters addressed by the parents of the 39 nazbols to president Putin: “Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich! What a peculiar situation! We keep writing to you and your only answer is silence. /…/ What’s the matter with you, mister President? Aren’t you worried by the fate of your forty young co- citizens? Do you seriously think that they are guilty of something or did you come to the conclusion that the country can do without them, patriots, protectors and humanists? What are you counting on? To leave a desert after you leave? Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich! In our previous addresses to you we asked you (and now we do) to approach the situation with the position of State wisdom. You did not listen to this request; we asked you (and now we do) to show understanding and mercy – ‘But the blissful are deaf to kindness…’ and, finally, we asked you (and now we do) to look in our eyes and history’s eyes – did you do it? /…/ We’re sorry, Vladimir Vladimirovich, but sometimes one gets the impression that it is from your highest assent that our children are being left to rot in prison cells.

The National-Bolsheviks’ parents have less negative experience of interacting with Putin’s government, with the State created by Putin; therefore they have more broken hopes. As for me I firmly believe that the president is not wise, not merciful, not kind, and that it is not only with his assent that forty-nine members of the National-Bolshevik Party are left to rot in prison cells and in camps, but most probably, on his initiative. Under Putin the practice of pardon has practically disappeared and only decrepit old persons – veterans of the Great Patriotic War, were amnestied, two hundred people in total. While even under Yeltsin, who was not known for its sensibility either, thousands of people were pardoned and amnestied. I will return to the president’s hard-heartedness in the last, third bloc of my book. But now a few words about Putin’s prisons, since we already touched upon that subject. I will again cite my open letter to the President from Lefortovo prison. 2001. On prisons:

“The situation in Russian prisons is desperate. Tuberculosis, AIDS and drug addiction are raging. /…/ The country’s prison population keeps rising. This is not explained by the particularly criminal tendencies of RF citizens but by the merciless severity of the laws and the bodies, which execute these laws: the police, the FSB, the Prosecutor General, the Court and the Justice Ministry. These bodies were never seriously reformed and in their nature remained totalitarian predators hunting citizens. A reform of the legal system in the country was developed and has been adopted for fifteen years now, but it is obvious that it is of little help. Because the judges will stay the same, the corporative spirit of the Soviet totalitarian justice will kill the results of the legal reform. The citizen will continue to be doomed in advance face to face with the State. Moreover, a part of the convicted, even for short terms, will inevitably die in prison from tuberculosis, a drug overdose and AIDS. Did you ever see your convicts, mister President? These are people with a sallow complexion, covered with sores and scabs.”

This is how I wrote in 2001. In reality things are far scarier. I will give here only one example of how things are inside the prisons. Even I was shaken by the letter sent on freedom by a convict who was killed in prison a few days after he wrote the letter. By an order of the investigator. Here is that letter:

On October 14th 2003 I was arrested by police officers, savagely beaten etc. etc. During the arrest, while I was laying face down on the cold ground, SOBR officers were kicking me on the head, on my body, my legs and arms; they were stepping on my handcuffs with their feet with their whole weight, stretching them so that after some time I ceased to feel my hands, they became numb and I couldn’t even move a finger. When they brought me to the station (RUBOP), after some time I realized that what they were doing during my arrest was nothing compared to that. The RUBOP officers were abusing me for about one day and a half; they totally undressed me and after handcuffing me to the radiator, they beat me on the arms and legs, with a stick on the head, body, arms and legs, on my crutch, they electrocuted me, demanding that I confess crimes that I have never committed. After some time, police officers, who didn’t take part in the tortures were appearing; they let me dress up and gave me tea and coffee and were, so to speak, nicely talking with me, but when they didn’t get what they wanted they left, the familiar individuals appeared and it was started all over again. This lasted until the evening of the following day, I think; I can’t say for sure because I, kind of, lost all sense of time, I was not fully aware of what was going on, my head hurt and I was losing consciousness.

After that I was brought to SIZO-1 in city N. I thought that the abuse was over, but in fact if has only started. I was constantly transferred from cell to cell, where I was detained with individuals who were tried earlier and already convicted. They didn’t let me sleep, eat and drink; in the morning I was taken to the UBOP when the officers continued their abuse. This lasted for about 10 days. All this time I didn’t have the possibility to meet my lawyer. On 11.15.03 I wrote a plaint about the illegality of the investigation, about the physical and psychological pressure I was subjected to by UBOP officers. N, the chief of the investigation group N came to see me about the plaint and made me write an explanation, where I described everything in detail and mentioned that I can identify the people who abuse me. Her answer to that was a refusal with the words that all my accusations were made up. After that UBOP officers headed by the police major S. started to act differently. I was sent to SIZO-1 of city K, where again I was constantly transferred from cell to cell and everywhere my cellmates were pressuring me physically and psychologically in order to obtain information about my criminal case from me and showing perfect knowledge about the case’s materials and not hiding that the chief of the department that is working on my case from city N gave an unofficial order to break, to destroy me physically and morally. On 12.11.03 I was sent to city N, my conviction term was extended and I was put again in SI-1 of city N. After some time I met major S. and he told me that he will do everything he can to convict defendant R., that this is an order from above, a question of honor and he won’t stop before anything for this. That he will go over heads in order to receive stars on his should-straps. What he needed from me were testimonies against defendant R. After this they started to work on me (so to speak) with particular zeal in SI-1 of city N. I didn’t have the possibility to send plaints or letters, to see the doctor; I couldn’t take a shower, take a walk, I was denied the possibility to receive parcels with food products, personal belongings, medicine, products of hygiene and first necessity. They beat and abused me trying to get one thing – that I did as major S. has said. Major S. made periodical visits to the prison and with an insidious smile asked me: ‘so, how are you doing, P.?’ He threatened me that I will be raped and my life in prison will become unbearable on his order. He affirmed that I wasn’t the first like this and that it’s a whole system, developed during years. A few days later a few people entered the cell where I was, they attacked me, tied me up and raped me, filming all of this on camera. Soon major S. appeared again and holding the videotape in his hands he asked if that was enough for me and if I was ready to cooperate. After receiving a negative answer S. said that my relatives would suffer then – my wife and my parents. That he will fabricate a case against them. He specifically spoke about my wife B., supposedly after nine years of living together she could have been the involuntary witness of the preparation of some crime, she could have heard something, simply he could just plant her some drugs. S. gave me time to think about this. These days I didn’t have the possibility to see my lawyers and my cellmates were vividly describing what awaits my wife in a prison for women. Later, when they brought me to the UBOP on N Street, the following happened in S.’s office: after he learned that I still have nothing to say, S. composed my wife’s telephone number and after he asked if she’s alone and if someone else is listening to the conversation, he told her that if she wants to see her husband she has to get ready, not tell anything to anyone, and to come to the UBOP after she will be called. While it was concerning me alone I was ready to suffer anything, but when it touched upon my family I had nothing left to do than what S. demanded from me. I personally wrote everything major S. dictated to me and agreed to testify. I was offered a lawyer, but I managed to obtain that they invite my lawyer G. I testified and explained the reason to my lawyer. Two days later I learned from my lawyer that my wife has left town and that some measures were taken in city N in order to protect my parents. A few days later I was led out of my cell by a prison employee, in his office he showed me a message that he said was confiscated during a search in one of the cells. It said that defendant R. is giving the order to kill P. (i.e. the author of this letter) by any available means as fast as possible. The employee did not present himself to me and did not give me the message; he said that he simply wanted to warn me about the danger. On the same evening major S. came to the prison and holding this same message in his hand, tried to explain me that now only he can protect me from the inevitable reprisal. But for this I have to help him convict R., testify against him and confess the many murders that, in major S.’s opinion, I committed. After he received my categorical refusal S. said that even then he will charge R. with responsibility for organizing my murder thanks to this little message. I take S.’s threats seriously and I fear for my life very much. During my acquaintance with him I had the time to realize that this man will not stop before anything. Major S. told me that I will be either hung or injected a large doze of a heavy drug. I really want to live because I’m still young and I love my mother and father, my little brother V. and my wife B.

I want to explain why I didn’t tell my lawyers about this and why I didn’t mention it in my plaints. I have realized that nobody is able to help a person in prison to avoid police abuse. And with each plaint I wrote my conditions were increasingly unbearable. I learned a truth, that however hard it is at a certain moment, something worse can always happen. In case S. commits what he’s planning I ask to charge him with that.

The dictatorship of the law, Mr. President. Nothing else. Satanic. Do I have to remind you the articles of the Universal declaration of human rights of 1948? Article 5: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Article 7: “All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.” And finally, article 3: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

It has been five years now that you are in power, Mr. Putin, and your prisons are Hell and there are murderers among your investigators. We don’t need such a president!

(THE PRESIDENT ’S WRONG AND CRIMINAL FOREIGN POLICY) | Limonov vs. Putin | Alien and wicked