At the beginning of September, a court in Tyumen arrested six antifascists, the youngest of whom is 23, the oldest - 28 years old. One of the arrested is accused of organizing a terrorist group, the rest – of participation. Apart from that, two of the defendants in the case are accused of manufacturing explosives. Since then, three of the accused, have informed about tortures by electric shocks. Relatives of the arrested fear that against the young men a case is being fabricated, similar to the infamous Network case, the defendants of which received long prison sentences on terrorist accusations.
We bring to your attention the translation of the article of BBC.
In the last day of summer, Russian security forces conducted a series of detentions in Yekaterinburg and Surgut. In Yekaterinburg they detained Yuri Neznamov (27 y.o.) and Danil Chertykov (28). In Surgut – Nikita Oleinik (27) and Roman Paklin (25). All four were detained approximately the same time - 11 p.m., 31st of August.
After the detentions all four were transferred to Tyumen. Despite the fact that they were detained on 31st of August, the court on remand was held on 7th of September. The Central court of Tyumen arrested all four until 30th of October. Court’s press services didn’t respond on, what exactly are the detainees in Surgut and Yekaterinburg accused of.
“Guys are from different regions, they were visiting each other and going to concerts. They had a lot in common. Among those had antifascist views”, recounts Yuri’s acquaintance, who asked for anonymity.
Neznamov - a freelance designer, interested in 3D-modeling - was detained in Yekaterinburg in a rented apartment. As his cousin Aleksey wrote on “VKontakte”, people in civilian clothes came to his apartment, conducted a search without witnesses (confiscated equipment and some items, didn’t find anything illegal, according to his cousin), then “overpowered and took him to an unknown destination”.
Perhaps, they connected you to something?
Relatives knew nothing on his whereabouts. 2nd of September his father filed a missing person report. “And only on 6 September he was informed that FSB officers took Yuri to Tyumen” – writes Neznamov’s cousin.
9 September, several days after the arrests, the lawyer Fyodor Akchermishev visited Neznamov in Tyumen’s jail. They gave them 35 minutes of meeting. “Whilst understanding that the accusations will be absurd, I asked him what he has to say regarding the accusations. He said that he has nothing to do with them. He doesn’t know exactly, what he’s being accused for, he doesn’t have any documents, I don’t have any documents either” – said the lawyer to BBC.
During the meeting he looked at Neznamov and saw on his left elbow two marks from electric shock. “I ask him: “They, perhaps, connected you to something?” He responded that he doesn’t remember”, - Akchermishev recalls.
But during lawyer’s interview, Neznamov provided a detailed written description of the tortures (BBC has a copy). As he told, they were suffocating him with a bag, poured water in his nose and mouth, tied his feet and hands and tortured him with electric shock.
“They put something wet in one of my sneakers, attached something to my back and then released the electric current. I can’t tell you how long this lasted, because it felt like eternity. I also told them the whole truth, complementing it with words they were indoctrinating me, so that it would stop. I have never experienced such pain in my life”, - he wrote.
Apart from that, according to his words, they gave “something in my hands”, to leave his fingerprints on: “They were threatening to plant explosives on my relatives, with my fingerprints on”.
BBC Russian Service sent a request to Tyumen’s department of Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) and awaits a response.
Neznamov’s lawyer Akchermishev filed a complaint with Tyumen’s Investigative Committee, concerning the use of torture against his client. The file, signed by Neznamov’s girlfriend, demands “officers of police and/or FSB” involved in the organization and direct performance of acts of torture with electric shock, also the officer who gave Naznamov to sign documents, to be brought to justice, under part 4 of article 286 of the Criminal Code (Abuse of office with the use of torture).
“Tortures by electric shock are performed to cover unprofessionalism and to obtain confessions of committing crimes, that the person did not commit” – is written in the document.
They fabricated a case, similar to the “Network” case
Tortures by electric shocks have already reported three defendants of this case, but only Neznamov was interviewed by a lawyer. Roman Paklin told his mother and girlfriend that he was also tortured by electric shocks. After the tortures, he couldn’t feel his arm and started experience pain in his heart, - a friend told BBC.
Oleinik also informed his relatives, through a lawyer, that he was tortured. “He was tortured the exact same way Neznamov was. There was an information about the waterboarding, electric shocks. They put a bag on his head, and during some days he couldn’t see anything and couldn’t understand where he was” – recounted his girlfriend.
Danil Chertykov also informed his relatives that pressure was exerted on him, but didn’t clarify what kind. 19 September the lawyer Andrey Bekin visited him in jail. Chertykov told him that he was beaten during the capture and in the cabinet, and also was forced to sign documents. In case of refusal to sign he was “punished” with squats –the night of his detention he did around 400 squats, he told his lawyer. According to his words, security forces were kicking him in the legs and threatening with violence against his loved ones, his mother and girlfriend.
“They were saying: Mind you, that we can put you in our jail, to sit in your own blood, shit and piss”. When on their way to police, they laid him on the floor between the seats and put their feet on his back, pressured his head with their boots on the floor. In the office, when they were beating Danil, he was hearing Yuri’s screams from tortures behind the wall - the officers were laughing at the screams and telling Danil that if he doesn’t sign what they want, they will take him to the same place” – defendants’ friends recite lawyer’s words.
According to them, Chertykov’s lawyer intends to file a complaint with the Investigative Committee on the use of torture.
According to Chertykov, as a result of tortures and threats, he was obliged to testify “what they asked” and what, according to his words, do not correspond to reality.
“They fabricated a terrorist case against six people, among whom is my cousin Yuri Neznamov, very similar to the famous Network case” – concludes Aleksey Neznamov.
The defendants of the Network case received long prison sentences – from 5,5 to 18 years – on charges of organizing terrorist group and participating in it. According to defendants, such organization never existed and the case was entirely fabricated by the FSB.
Almost all defendants of the Network case stated that they were subjected to tortures, as a result of which they had to incriminate themselves and each other. Four defendants stated that security forces tortured them by electric shock, in order to obtain the desired testimony. Almost all defendants later recanted their testimonies.
The start of Tyumen case
30th of August, a day before the arrests in Surgut and Yekaterinburg, in Tyumen security forces detained Kirill Brik (24) and Deniz Aidyn (23). According to the case file, they manufactured improvised explosives and headed to the area of Tyumen’s thermal power plant 2 (TPP), at the outskirts of the city, in order to find a suitable “for the performance of explosions, forest site”.
Aidyn’d girlfriend, Diana, believes that police mistook the young men for drug users, and therefore decided to check their phones. “Most likely they mistook him and Kirill for drug users. There are usually many dealers in the area of TPP-2. They checked their phones, meanwhile on Telegram they are subscribed to numerous antifascist channels. And took them” – she suggested when talking to BBC.
According to investigators, during the arrest police found on Brik and Aidyn an explosive material with a mass of 312,13 grams and two detonators. 2 September Tyumen’s Central District Court arrested them on accusations of manufacturing improvised explosives by a group of persons, by prior conspiracy. Punishment under this article is from 10 to 15 years of imprisonment.
According Diana, 30 August around 9 p.m. (namely, about an hour after the actual detention of Aidyn and Brik) she had arranged to meet Aidyn in the center of Tyumen. After waiting for him in vain, she started worrying and went home, with the hope that his “phone simply died”. At the entrance of the house, Diana and Aidyn were renting an apartment, security forces were waiting for her: “They detained me as well at the entrance and explained that my boyfriend and his friend Kirill Brik are suspected of manufacturing explosives”.
Following the detention, according to her, she was brought to the department for combating organized crime of Tyumen’s police. Officers of this department took part in her detention, she added - “they showed us their badges”. Kirill’s girlfriend was also brought there. BBC was unable to establish a contact with her.
In the office, Diana recounts, officers “were trying aggressively to introduce her to the case”: “They immediately started throwing loud phrases, like “we saved your life”, with the arrests of the guys, and that they wanted to “blow me up” on 1 September.
The next day, 31st August, they searched their apartment. It was conducted in Aidyn’s presence. Diana at that moment was in the department. According to her, she was released after the search.
During the search they confiscated a Saiga hunting rifle , that according to his girlfriend, Aidyn owned legally and possessed all the required documents.
Also they confiscated equipment, a flag of Siberia (white-green flag of the unrecognized Siberian republic of 1918) and books: “The Revolt of the Masses” of the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset, works of Russian anarchists Bakunin and Kropotkin and a book about the Spanish revolution, the name of which Diana couldn’t remember.
Brik’s house was also searched, but BBC couldn’t find information on what they confiscated. “These days I was talking with Kirill’s girlfriend, and she told me that they had a small stash – 15-20 thousand rubles – and after the search she couldn’t find it”.
From the moment of Aidyn’s arrest, neither his parents, nor Diana managed to talk to him. They didn’t attend the court on remands, because they didn’t know that it will take place. His lawyer refused to talk to BBC.
Aidyn and Brik are antifascist and musicians. Brik was working as an auto mechanic. Aidyn, according to stories of his girlfriend, “was working at weddings, as a loader and other places, he didn’t have an official job”.
Aidyn was playing guitar in the local hardcore band Siberian Brigade, also in the black metal project Rasputin. “Deniz was playing in many bands. He is a virtuoso guitarist who has a great ear for music, that’s why he was quite popular. Brik has a solo experimental project m6th – digital grindcore, noise ambient” – told BBC Aidyn and Brik’s friend who asked for anonymity.
At the end of July, Aidyn had already become the defendant of one criminal case - on hooliganism. As friends informed, he was attacked by five men in the center of Tyumen. In order to escape, Aidyn used a traumatic gun. After this, one of the attackers ended up in hospital.
“As cops said, the moment of the attack was caught by a CCTV camera. Denis turned himself to the police the same day. There were no hearings on this case, yet. Deniz’s lawyer claims that the hooliganism case should be reclassified to self-defense” – his friend recounted.
According to him, the core of the conflict was that Aidyn, at the beginning, stood up for young skaters that “were bullied by five Azerbaijanis”. After that, he had a fight with one of them “upon agreement”, while later that day he was attacked by a mob with stones, "I guess, for revenge”.
Friends of the arrested defendants told BBC that Nikita Oleinik from Surgut was accused of organization of terrorist group (part 1 article 205.4 CC, with punishment 10-15 years of imprisonment or life sentence), while the rest, of participation in it (from 5 to 10 years of imprisonment).
The order to initiate criminal proceeding (in BBC’s position) states that Oleinik, from 2021 to February of 2022, “was an opponent of state power and constitutional order of Russia” and “with intent to create a terrorist group to conduct terrorist activity” “created a terrorist group”.
In this group, according to the investigation, Oleinik involved Brik, Aidyn and Chertykov, also “other non-identified by the investigations persons”. Regarding the arrested Neznamov and Paklin, the order states nothing.
The investigation believes that Oleinik organized and held conspiratorial meetings and assemblies with the participants of the “terrorist group” in Tyumen and Sverdlovsk oblast, also in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous region. These meetings were aiming at the violent overthrow of power.
As the investigation claims, Oleinik exerted on participants of the group a “recruiting influence and bonding” and conducted “destructive activity” on the territory of Khanty-Mansi Autonomous region. Chertykov, on his instructions, conducted “destructive activity” in Sverdlovsk oblast, while Brik and Aidyn in Tyumen oblast. How that “destructive activity” was expressed, the order doesn’t specify.
For the investigation, Brik and Aidyn were responsible for the manufacturing of improvised explosives - necessary to conduct terrorist acts – as well as the direct conduct of those acts in the three regions where, supposedly, the group was active. Meanwhile, the document doesn’t mention neither one “terrorist act”, conducted by the defendants in this case.
Chertykov – working as a veterinarian -, as the investigation believes, provided participants of the group with medication, and “hemostatic items”, “an urgent need for which could emerge, among participants of the group, when committing terrorism-related crimes and armed clashes with representatives of state power”.
The document states nothing on the planning of any specific crimes or “armed clashes” by the defendants. But the investigation concluded that the arrested “were well aware that they are members of a terrorist group” and that grounds to initiate criminal proceedings are sufficient.
It is worth noting that the date on the order is 2 September, while all defendants were detained on 30-31 August. The case was initiated by Tyumen’s department of MIA.
“I know nothing, I’m not interested in anything, I haven’t heard about anything”
Danil Chertykov is a veterinarian. His specialization is orthopedic surgeon. Before his arrest he was working in the veterinarian clinic Vetpuls. On the internet one can find numerous positive reviews on his work. “Danil is one the best veterinarians in Yekaterinburg, he has a huge client base” – his girlfriend Alyona told us.
Chertykov’s colleagues are aware of the situation, worry about him and don’t believe in what is happening, she adds: “Everyone loves him a lot in his job”.
Chertykov was arrested when he was coming out of a restaurant in Yekaterinburg with his girlfriend and friends. “A crowd of security forces jumped on us, in unmarked uniforms, without insignia. They were in bulletproof vests, balaclavas, masks and guns. They were too many” – Alyona recalls. After that, she and Chertykov were taken in different civilian cars, the rest of his friend were not detained. During the apprehension Chertykov was beaten – she added.
In the car, Alyona tried to memorize where she was taken, and asked for explanations. “They were very rude to me, like: “shut up”, “it’s not your business”. They never explained anything to me. No one introduced himself. When I was sat in the car, I tried to memorize where they’re taking me. But they were saying “Do not turn your head around, or it will get worse” – she recounts. According to her, they were holding her head down and keeping her in that position, so that she couldn’t understand where she was taken.
“[In the office] they were asking me: “What music do I listen; what books do I read? How do I feel about the current political situation in Russia? How do I feel about the situation in Ukraine? Had I anti-state sentiments or views?” I was answering: “I know nothing, I’m not interested in anything, I haven’t heard about anything” – Alyona recounted. But she couldn’t remember in what agency she was brought in.
Chertykov – as he later told his lawyer – was asked in the police station, what was he doing in Surgut and Tyumen. “I answered the truth, that in Surgut I was for the needs of my job as veterinarian. I was invited there for my job. I also said that I have never been to Tyumen – he recounts.
According to his words, in the cabinet there were six people in civilian clothes and two in “in some special black clothes” and in balaclavas. Chertykov’s answer about Surgut and Tyumen didn’t satisfy them and with the words “you’re lying” they hit him in the face several times – he told.
“I told them that they can check the information – contact the clinic, check the airport tickets, that there are photos of me with the animals I operated. They once again weren’t satisfied with the answer and told me: “Let’s refresh your memory” and made me do sit-ups, while filming everything on a phone camera” – Chertikov told his lawyer.
Searches and missing money
Chertykov’s girlfriend was released from the station early in the morning of 1 September, while during the night, when she was still detained, a search was conducted in their house (Chertykov and his girlfriend lived together with his mother).
The search was conducted in the presence of Danil Chertykov. During the search they were forcing Chertykov’s mother to sign blank papers, Alyona recounts.
“there were some men with the security forces – they said that they are witnesses. She [his mother] told them that she won’t sign blank papers. They told her, not to worry as she is signing in the presence of witnesses, that see that the papers are blank. Well they began pressuring her. She was woken in the middle of the night, got scared and signed everything” – explains Alyone, adding that after the search 15 thousand rubles were missing.
Nikita Oleyinik’s girlfriend also says about missing money after the search. According to her, she discovered 250 thousand rubles of savings missing from their safe.
When the police started knocking the door of their apartment and shouting “Open up, police! Or we’ll break the door!” Oleyinik though that it’s a joke and opened it – she recounts. “I stayed in the room and saw how he was immediately thrown on the floor. They took me out of the room and threw me on the floor next to him. From what I recall, they didn’t introduce themselves and started asking Nikita if he knows some people”. She doesn’t remember the names of those people.
5 After that, they started conducting search in the apartment. Confiscated a traumatic gun and Saiga rifle (according to his girlfriend it was officially registered), a scarf of football club Spartak, “some literature” and equipment – notebooks and phones. “I took my phone back after some days, the rest of the equipment left for Tyumen. Also, they took Nikita’s car to an impound lot, said that it’s material evidence. Chevrolet Cobalt” – his girlfriend recounts.
According to her, Oleyinik bought the traumatic gun for self-defense, while with Saiga he was going to a shooting polygon.
“He was learning to use it on that polygon. Guns for him were a sort of entertainment, simply to shoot some targets was for him recreation” – she recounts.
Both the traumatic gun and Saiga Oleyinik bought from local shops. “They are not combat; they are civilian guns” – she adds.
After the search they both were taken in separate civilian cars.
She, as in the case of Chertykov, Brik and Aidyn’s girlfriends, was released the next day. But, during the detention, when she was brought to the department (she doesn’t remember which one), she was also “spoken rudely by two men in civilian clothes and threatened with Nikita’s health”.
“They were telling that he will be all broken, with tuberculosis etc. they were threatening that they will do many unpleasant things to him” – Oleinik’s girlfriend recounts. “I immediately understood that they will torture him”
Do the defendants know each other
Nikita Oleyinik is a vegetarian, is boxing and is interested in history and photography –his girlfriend told, who asked BBC for anonymity. He was studying medicine and dreamed of becoming a surgeon. However, he had to abandon his studies due to family reasons.
He didn’t had a permanent job and was working where he could: junior medical stuff in one of Surgut’s medical facilities, courier, taxi driver, slinger.
Oleyinik and Roman Paklin – Nikita’s friend from teenage years - organized in Surgut a “public libertarian library”. They themselves were selecting the books - on politics, philosophy and history of liberation movements – their friends say. According to one of them, Palkin was working in the oil industry, but he doesn’t know in what position.
Aidyn’s girlfriend Diana said that he and Brik “definitely know the guys from Surgut”. She herself doesn’t know the guys arrested in Yekaterinburg. Chertykov’s girlfriend said that she personally knew Neznamov, but not Brik and Aidyn from Tyumen. Therefore, she couldn’t tell if Chertykov knew them. Chertykov himself told investigators that he had seen Brik and Aidyn once in his life – that’s what he stated during lawyer’s interview.
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Deniz Alattinovich Aidyn 1999 g.r.
Nikita Vitalevich Oleinik 1995 g.r.
Yuri Yevgenevich Neznamov 1995 g.r.
Danil 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
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