Six months ago, Russia started a military aggression in Ukraine. In addition to killing civilians in Ukraine, the Russian state continues repressions inside the country. We present you a summary of the main data on the pressure on people for an anti-war stance in Russia.
Restriction of the right to freedom of assembly
We are aware of at least 16,437 detentions related to anti-war protests. This number, in addition to street detentions, includes 138 detentions for anti-war posts in social networks, 118 detentions for anti-war symbolics and 62 detentions after anti-war protests.
The number is correct as of 17.08.2022
Here we describe in detail the calculation methodology.
In addition to detentions at the rallies and after them, the authorities also practice «preventive» detentions using a facial recognition system. This system was also used on Flag Day, August 22, at least 33 people were detained in Moscow (we were not informed about such detentions in other cities).
Based on the data and non-admissions, OVD-Info sent a submission to the UN Special Procedures about the persecution of lawyers and human rights defenders at anti-war protests. And also about the situation with attorney Alexey Kalugin, who was beaten at the police department when he tried to access his client detained at a peaceful rally.
When asked by the UN about the persecution of human rights defenders, Russia claimed that Kalugin was allegedly to blame for everything, and the case (which does not exist) was being checked. Questions about the persecution of anti-war activists were ignored, but two pages were devoted to the fact that OVD-Info is a «foreign agent», and the project’s website is blocked.
Repressions at the legislative level
There were no new laws in August 2022, possibly due to the holidays of Russian lawmakers. In total, since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, State Duma deputies have adopted 16 new repressive laws or amendments to existing documents.
OVD-Info collects data on repressions by the Russian authorities in Crimea, because we have the opportunity to verify these data
During the 182 days of the war, 224 people became suspects or convicts in criminal anti-war cases.
This month, the lawyers of OVD-Info started to represent defendants in five new criminal cases: Alexey Onoshkin, Ilya Gantsevsky, Marina Ovsyannikova, Andrei Pavlov, Sergei Veselov. In total, the lawyers of OVD-Info are conducting 22 criminal anti-war cases.
On the morning of August 24, it became known about the criminal case against the former mayor of Yekaterinburg, Yevgeny Roizman, under the first part of article 280.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (about «discreditation» of the armed forces).
Date of update: 08.23.2022
Top 5 regions by the number of cases under Article 20.3.3 of the Code of Administrative Offences:
Moscow — 517;
Saint Petersburg — 229;
Krasnodar Krai— 179;
Sverdlovsk region — 107;
Republic of Crimea — 107.
We are aware of at least seven cases of extrajudicial persecution of people who publicly oppose the war: doused with brilliant green, attacked, hung a funeral wreath on the door, planted threats in the mailbox, fired from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Internal Affairs for failure to initiate cases on denunciations; the police refused to look for vandals who wrote «a Ukronazi lives here».
«Foreign agents» and «undesirable organizations»
In August, employees of The Ministry of Justice apparently went on vacation, and no new people or organizations appeared in the registers of «foreign agents». However, during this month, the prosecutor’s office demanded to liquidate the «Trade Union of Journalists» for non-compliance with the requirements of foreign agency legislation, and the court began the bankruptcy procedure of Radio Liberty due to non-payment of fines for the absence of foreign agency labellings.
Since the release of the July Summary of anti-war repression, the organizations «The Ukrainian Canadian Congress», «The Macdonald-Laurier Institute» and «Ukrainian National Federation Canada» have appeared on the lists of «undesirable organizations». There are 65 items in this list at the moment.
Blocking, censorship and pressure on independent media
According to Roskomsvoboda, about 7 thousand sites were blocked by «military censorship». According to Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, 138 thousand Internet resources have been blocked and deleted since the beginning of the war with Ukraine.
3 media were fined for «discrediting the Russian army» this month («Journalists' and Media Workers' Union», «New story-newspaper (Novaya rasskaz-gazeta)» and twice «Evening Vedomosti (Vechernie Vedomosti)»).
In August, the VK pages of artist Yulia Tsvetkova and the Mirror (Zerkalo), as well as OVD-Info, were blocked. The reason for blocking our VK page was «information materials containing unreliable socially significant information about the special military operation conducted by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, its form, methods of conducting military operations, as well as information about attacks on civilian infrastructure facilities, numerous victims among the civilian population of Ukraine and in the ranks of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, regarding general mobilization and others».
The Lukhovitsky District Court also refused to unblock the OVD-Info website.
Over the past month, the Prosecutor General’s Office has added to the register a press conference with the participation of human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina in defense of oppressed Muslims and her comments to various media, for example, «Culture of Dignity», «Tell Gordeeva», «Rain», etc. The TJ announced the closure due to a serious decline in attendance after the blocking of their website.
Links to reports and data of OVD-Info:
- Summary of anti-war repressions. July 2022
- Summary of anti-war repressions. June 2022
- Report in Russian «No war. How the Russian authorities are fighting anti-war protests.»
- Report in Ukranian «No war. How the Russian authorities are fighting anti-war protests.»
- Guide «The anti-war case.»
- The input of information in reply to the call for submissions: Challenges to freedom of opinion and expression in times of conflicts and disturbances.
- Alternative report by OVD-Info, Sova, and the Media Center on the Russian Federation’s compliance with its International Human Rights Obligations to the 135th Session of the UN Human Rights Committee
- Report «Blocking Internet resources as a tool of political censorship.»
- Project on the law on «foreign agents» — «Inoteka».
- Report «How the authorities use cameras and facial recognition against protesters.»