Dear friends, welcome to our latest update!
This is long overdue. As usual, we start with (relatively) good news. Krasnoyarsk anarchists Danil Ivanov and Ilya Vinogradov were given 5 and 3.5 years probational sentences respectively. They were accused of ”robbery”, for paying a visit to a former comrade who had been seen hanging out with Nazis. Congratulations to Danil and Ilya for dodging prison!
Also, Anarchist from Khabarovsk, Maxim ”Khadad” Smolnikov avoided a prison sentence. He was sentenced for ”Justifying terrorism” for commenting on the suicide bombing of anarchist Mikhail Zhlobitsky against the FSB security services on the Russian social media site Vkontakte. He spent almost 4 months in prison in pre-trial detention in 2021, but has since been released and sentenced to a fine of 300 000 rubles (circa 3850 euros), despite the prosecution having asked for 5.5 years of prison. The prosecution appealed the sentence, but finally on the 8th of June the fine was confirmed. Maxim is now raising funds to pay his fine, you may contact Telegram-bot @Xadadbot for requisites.
On more dated news, Anarchist from Chelyabinsk, Dmitri Tsibukovsky, was finally released from prison on the 8th of February, His wife Anastasia Safonova was already released in December. They were sentenced to 2.5 and 2 years in a prison colony for hanging a banner in support of the Network case prisoners in February 2018. This February Anastasia gave an interview to Doxa journal about her anarchist ideas and on the prison experience.
Also, Tula anarchists Anton Zavadski and Faik Handžigazov managed to avoid prison sentences, being instead given 180 000 ruble (circa 2250 euro) fines for an anti-war graffiti on the 29th of March, although the prosecutors were demanding prison sentences of 5.5 years. They are also not allowed to leave Tula without permission.
One of the network case prisoners, Yuliy Boyarshinov, was finally released on the 21st of April, having spent 5 years and 2 months in prison. Yuliy and his wife Yana Sakhipova gave an interview to Doxa journal about their trials. Yuliy said that he is still sharing the basic values of the anarchist movement.
Anti-war anarchist Alexey Rozhkov railroaded from Kyrgysztan to Russia
On May 29th, anti-war activist Alexey Rozhkov, who had fled from Russia to Kyrgyzstan, was extending his temporary registration in his host country. The very next day, early in the morning, security forces broke in to his home. He told Solidarity Zone about his illegal deportation to Russia, the interview is also published in English.
Alexey Rozhkov was the third known person in Russia to set fire to a military enlistment office on the 11th of March 2022, two weeks after the full-scale invasion of the Russian army into Ukraine. He was soon detained, but in the summer of 2022 he was released to wait for trial and he escaped from Russia to Kyrgysztan. Story of his kidnapping from Kyrgysztan is also available in English.
Now Alexey Rozhkov is being held in the first remand prison of Yekaterinburg, and letters can be written to him.
Address for letters:
Rozhkov Alexey Igorevich, born in 1997
Yekaterinburg, Repina street, 4, SIZO-1
You can send messages for Alexey by email at email@example.com, Solidarity Zone will forward them to him. Note that all letters should be written in Russian – you may use google translate or similar programs. From countries which have halted mail services with Russia, you may only send an e-mail.
Russian anarchist Lev Skoryakin detained in Kyrgysztan
Lev Skoryakin was an activist of Left Bloc, a left unity organisation which comprised both anarchist and communist activists according to a small common denominator. He is accused of allegedly taking part in an action against the FSB secret service, in which two persons visited the FSB building at the Ivana Babushkina street in Moscow on the 20th of December 2021, and hung a banner ”Happy day of a Chekist!”, burned a flare and threw it to the yard of the building. They are charged with ”Hooliganism with prior intent and use of weapons” and ”Vandalism”, which means they may be imprisoned for up to 7 years.
He was arrested soon afterwards, and sent to pre-trial detention to Butyrka prison in Moscow. On the 13th of July 2022 both were released to wait sentencing under certain restrictions, which after they escaped Russia. In February 2023 the court in Moscow ordered Skoryakin back to detention in absence.
On the 9th of June Skoryakin was detained in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgysztan. There is a serious danger that he will be deported to Russia without a proper court process, similarly to another Russian anarchist and anti-war activist Alexey Rozhkov, who was railroaded on the 29th of May from Kyrgysztan to a prison in Russia.
Lev Skoryakin is a long-time activist with numerous previous arrests. On June 2020 he was arrested and beaten up for attempting to hang a banner stating “Justice for Floyd” to the US Embassy in Moscow. In 2021 he spent 30 days in prison for attempting to join a demonstration in Moscow. The Napilnik publishing house published a brochure written by Skoryakin about this short prison experience. Skoryakin and his co-defendant Ruslan Abasov also gave an interview to Novaya Gazeta about their time in the Butyrka prison as political prisoners.
Support Denis Kozak, Russian anarchist imprisoned in Kazakhstan
Denis Kozak from Rostov-na-Donu has been detained in Kazakhstan since the 9th of February, formally ”for violating immigration regime”. In 2022, Kozak was charged with ”justification of terrorism” due to comments he allegedly made about the suicide bombing by anarchist Mikhail Zhlobitsky against the FSB security services. An extradition request by Russia is currently being processed by the Kazakhstan authorities, and Kozak has also requested asylum in Kazakhstan.
Kozak spent his 20th birthday on the 1st of April in prison. He has been involved in numerous anarchist projects online, such as Anarcho News, Russian Syndicalism and RAVANCHE, You may send support mail to Kozak via his support group: firstname.lastname@example.org
Support Saveli Frolov, anarchist and anti-fascist accused of attempted treason
Saveli Frolov is a children and youth sport instructor from Narodo-Fominsk of the Moscow region, who attempted to leave Russia for Georgia on October the 30th. He was arrested on the border, and detained first for frivolous charges of ”refusing orders of the border guards” and then ”minor hooliganism”. Then on the 2nd of December he was charged for allegedly ”attempting to cross to side of the enemy”. According to authorities, he planned to leave Russia to join the Free Russia Legion, which is fighting on side of Ukraine against Russia. He may face up to 10 years in prison.
Since the begin of the war, Saveli has joined in anti-war actions and was imprisoned for 10 days for distributing anti-war leaflets. Online paper Bumaga made a lengthy article on Saveli and his case last December.
You may send support letters to Saveli to this address
Saveli Aleksandrovich Frolov 2001 g.r.
ul. Mordovtseva d. 6 SIZO 6
362040 resp. Severnaya Osetiya – Alaniya, Russia
Support Chita anarchists, repressed for fighting against the Russian war machine
On October 31st 2022, two anarchist teenagers from Chita, Russian Far East, a 19 years old Aleksandr Snezhkov and a 16 year old Lyubov Lizunova were arrested for writing a graffiti ”Death to the regime”. They were also suspected of administrating a telegram channel with anarchist and anti-war messages.
They were soon released pending trial, but after an unsuccessful attempt to escape, Alexandr Snezhkov was transferred to a remand prison, and Lyubov Lizunova was transferred to home arrest. Moreover, the case has also a third suspect, whose name has so far not been published by the authorities. However, she also has to hired a lawyer, and anarchists from Khabarovsk have announced a fundraiser for her. You may also contribute via PayPal of ABC-Moscow, email@example.com, but in this case it is important to add a message ”For third Chita defendant” in order to not confuse it with other donations.
You may write to Alexandr Snezhkov in prison to
Aleksandr Evgenevich Snezhkov, born 2003
SIZO-1, Ingodinskaya ul. d.1 ,
Zabaykalski kray 672039 Russia
Note that all letters should be written in Russian – you may use google translate or similar programs. From countries which have halted mail services with Russia, you may only send an e-mail via ABC-Moscow: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep supporting Tyumen anarchists and anti-fascists
The Tyumen case against anarchists and anti-fascists, arrested between the 29th of August and the 1st of September 2022, is one of the most outrageous attempts to destroy the anarchist movement all together. Six anarchists and anti-fascists were tortured, and are facing decades in prison just for their ideas. Authorities claim that two of them had explosives, with which they were planning to blow up a power plant, but the case is a complete setup.
In the end of May a pre-trial detention of the arrested was again prolonged. They have already spent 10 months in prison. Detention conditions are heavy. On the 10th of June one of the defendants, Daniel Chertikov, finally managed to receive books after 5 months of struggle and complaints by his lawyers.
Unfortunately the authorities have managed to break the will of one of the defendants, Kirill Brik. He does not reply to the letters of the support group and during the court session on prolonging imprisonment he said that he is completely admitting his guilt. He looked depressed and did not make eye contact with the journalists who visited the court.
However, the support group is still supporting Brik, as conditions of his agreement are not made clear and there is still hope that he will change his mind.
All arrested except Brik are being kept in the remand prison #1 of Tyumen:
Deniz Alattinovich Aidyn 1999 g.r.
Yuri Yevgenevich Neznamov 1995 g.r.
Daniil Germanobich Chertykov 1994 g.r.
Nikita Vitalevich Oleinik, 1995 g.r.
Roman Vladimirovich Paklin, 1997 g.r.
SIZO-1, ul. Yalutorovskaya d.42, 625000 Tyumen Russia
Kirill Brik is being held in another prison:
Kirill Alexandrovich Brik, 1998 g.r. The address for letters: SIZO-2, ul. Bratyev Perevozkinyh, d.29g, Zavodoukovsk, 627100, Tyumen Region, Russia
Note that all letters should be written in Russian – you may use google translate or similar programs. From countries which have halted mail services with Russia, you may only send e-mail via ABC-Moscow: email@example.com.
Support direct action anarchist prisoner Roman Shvedov
Around 3 AM on the 23rd of September 2022 someone threw a firebomb with 3 litres of gasoline to an administration building in the Zimovski municipality of the Rostov region. Roman Shvedov was soon arrested and charged with terrorism.
Solidarity Zone organised a lawyer to visit Roman in March, whom he told that he is an anarchist and in very bad spirits. He refused any further support in the form of lawyers, saying that he will be rotting in prison for years and lawyers cannot change the outcome of his case.
Please write to Roman to cheer him up:
Roman Valerevich Shvedov 1985 g.r.
SIZO-1, ul. Gorkogo d. 219
344022 Rostov-na-Donu Russia
Who are supporting anti-war prisoners in Russia?
When the war in Ukraine started, we in the Anarchist Black Cross of Moscow decided to support all anti-war prisoners, except outright fascist ones (yes, there are also some fascists in Russia who are against the war in Ukraine, although most of the Russian fascists are supporting Russian war efforts). During the first weeks of war we received a lot of donations towards anti-war work, but at this point we have either spent this money directly to support anti-war prisoners or channeled the donations to other initiatives.
Meanwhile, our group has not grown any bigger and there are so many anti-war prisoners that we cannot even properly maintain a prisoner list. At this point, we are more or less back in our traditional focus of supporting anarchist and anti-fascist prisoners, and more often those whose cases are not directly related to anti-war activities, as anti-war prisoners are having specific support groups. Here we list some of them:
Solidarity Zone concentrates to support anti-war direct action prisoners, and is often the only initiative to do so, as many human rights organisations are too afraid to support ”terrorist” prisoners. Solidarity Zone was established by anti-authroritarians, and before they established their own fundraising, they were supported by the Anarchist Black Cross of Moscow. They are the best source of information in the cases of anti-authoritarian direct action prisoners, and their main information source is their telegram channel https://t.me/solidarity_zone which has also posts in English (you may find them with hashtag #english). A website is also in the process of being made. They are also present in instagram and facebook.
Solidarity Zone is providing support for more than 10 anti-war prisoners. Most of them are marked in our prisoner list as Anti-war prisoners supported by group "Solidarity Zone". However, as resources are limited, there are also prisoners to whom the group has not provided lawyers, but are instead publishing their addresses and following their cases. Some of these prisoners have also refused financial support, or there have been other problems in providing support. These are listed in our prisoner list as ”Anti-war prisoners cases of whom are followed by Solidarity Zone”.
Other prisoners in our prisoner list under the header “Other anti-war prisoners” have had their prisoner addresses published by some initiative at some point, but these addresses may be outdated. So before writing it is good to check the addresses for example from the other initiatives listed below.
Memorial is a traditional human rights organisation, or more like a network of human rights organisations that maintain the memory of repressions during Soviet times. Some of the Memorial organisations are currently banned in Russia and some are not. Memorial maintains a website on political prisoners that is probably the most comprehensive available https://memopzk.org/. Their support of political prisoners is the main reason why authorities have banned some of the Memorial organisations.
They also provide financial support in some cases, usually attempting to select cases that would most benefit from the imput of lawyers. Their telegram channel https://t.me/pzk_memorial is a good place to check for prison addresses of anti-war prisoners who have not committed direct actions.
OVD-Info is an organisation that was originally set up by Memorial to monitor rights and arrests during demonstrations, but it has always covered also other kinds of persecutions. OVD-Info is now monitoring both anti-war demonstrations and criminal cases against anti-war activists. Their website has a lengthy page of anti-war cases, but unfortunately without prison addresses:
Is a good website to write online to many political prisoners in Russia. It was originally supported by Navalny organisations, but it is now a small independent project. Unfortunately their interface is only in Russian. https://rosuznik.org/
Uznik online is a small project encouraging to write to political prisoners. Their website is currently minimalistic, but they are active in several social networks.
Russian reader is a very active blog by Thomas Campbell with news from Russia. It has often exclusive translations on anti-war and other political prisoners in Russia https://therussianreader.com/
Anarchist Black Cross of Irkutsk is currently supporting anarchist, anti-fascist and anti-war prisoners in Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far-East, especially those of the Chita case.
Autonomous Action is a libertarian communist organisation established in 2002. In current circumstances, it is continuing its existence as a media project that is also hosting newsfeeds and a prisoner list of the Anarchist Black Cross of Moscow.
Keep up supporting prisoners in Russia
You can find the contact addresses of all prisoners in Russia supported by us here. and instructions how to donate here. If you want to make a donation to a particular prisoner or case, please contact us beforehand to make sure that the supporters of the prisoner or case are currently gathering donations.