The Trials Have Begun Against Detained and Tortured Anarchists in Russia

The following text is from a post by Fånggruppen Syd.

The following text has been translated from Russian to English. It was originally published on the webpage ”” on March 19th, 2019. Due to the hazards of translating texts automatically, some parts of the original text have had to be removed, do to uncertainties of the original intents of the texts in Russian, before translation. Statements in the text have also been formed to fit into English format and in some instances may not resemble their original structure or width.

The case of long time detained anti-fascists Victor Filinkov and Yullian Bojarshinov, is finaly up in court. It is a part of the case of “The Network” announced by the Russian security service FSB, as preparations of terrorist attacks during the Russian presidential election and the world Cup in football/soccer during spring and summer 2018.

The first people detained in the case where taken in during October 2017. The Russian security service, FSB, considers Victor and Yulian to be members of a terrorist cell that has been called ”The Network”. The defence of Yulian Bojarshinov intends to ask for the allocation of the case. Victor Filinkov does not consider himself guilty, insisting that confession was given under torture to the FSB and means that the charges should be unsubstantiated.

Victor Filinkov, 24, has been behind bars for more than a year. The long time detention and heavy torture has put him in a state of chronic illness. On requests for help he was answered: ”You’re easier in the furnace than to treat”.

According to the conclusion of the head of the 124th laboratory of medical and forensic identification, professor Vladimir Shcherbakov, the effects of the use of electric shocks as a means of torture are not only limited to the damage of areas in direct touch. It affects the state of the whole body. With the passage of the current, blood circulation and breathing are disrupted, which is fraught with damage to nerve cells, haemorrhage to the brain and its organic changes. Among the possible consequences are epileptic status, spontaneous seizures, consciousness disorder and asthenic condition. Further in the conclusion is given a whole list of reactions in relation to zones of a human body in direct contact with electro-shocks.

Filinkov declared having been tortured with the use of a stun gun on January 26th 2018, on the third day after his detention by Russian security service, FSB, in St. Petersburg. He demanded the withdrawal of the investigators who were present at the time of the torture.

“We have repeatedly pointed out that Victor is ready to testify, but not to these investigators. We asked them to be replaced, but all our petitions were rejected”, the lawyer Vitaly Cherkasov explained. ”After reviewing the case, my client still decided to give evidence to the head of the investigation team Gennady Belyaev to indicate his position.”

“I still don’t trust you,” Filinkov addressed in the application dated February 20th. Victor is convinced that in case papers there are no proofs of his participation in the incriminated crimes.

In the indictments presented to both Penza and St. Petersburg defendants, the same beginning is reproduced: “at a time not established by the investigation, but no later than May 2015, in the territory of the Penza region, for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities… Pchelintsev D. D. together with an unidentified person, an interregional terrorist community of anarchists, with the conditional name, “The Network”, was created”.

While signs of inter-regional format appear only in the description of the events of July 2016, when supposedly the decision was made on the establishment of the St. Petersburg cell, referred to in the case as the ”Moscow and Byelorussian units”, no specifics have been found in terms of quantity and personal composition.

Victor Filinkov moved to St. Petersburg from Omsk (where he studied at the state university) only in September 2016. As follows from his testimony, “persistent anti-fascist beliefs” acquired in school years and as a student, “having a clear civic position of a democrat”, he took part in various actions, including “anti-fascist action raids to help the homeless and the disadvantaged”. Through the group ”Food not of bombs”, he did film screenings and lectures, as well as information technology-related events such as IT-clean-ups and” hackathons ” (collective programming).

“During my stay in Omsk from May 2013 to September 2016, I was repeatedly attacked by various right wing radicals, nazis, fascists,” Victor’s testimony also says: ”I was also aware of many of their attacks on my friends. In my opinion, some of the attackers were associated with the centre for countering extremism of the Russian interior ministry. These were provocateurs. The attacks were also carried out with the use of sharp objects and traumatic weapons. In other Russian cities, such attacks ended in death – for example, the murder of Timur Kacharava in St. Petersburg and the murder of Stas Markelov and Anastasia Baburova in Moscow.”

Filinkov explains that the tragic statistics of those times and the need to be ready to protect themselves and their comrades, created the need of self-defence circles. Training in shooting galleries was carried out and the acquisition of permitted civilian weapons. Security considerations were dictated by the practice of using aliases, because right-wing radicals actively gathered and carried out threats on anti-fascists, sometimes even with the postscript “meet-kill!”.

The investigation also interprets the practice differently, seeing in it the following “embedded in the everyday life of the terrorist community pre-developed methods of deep conspiracy”. In the case file there is also with all seriousness recorded “testimony on the spot”, during which the accused indicated the place of airsoft training and forest campaigns (as a consequence, they are submitted as “field trips with illegal mastery of the skills of survival and first aid in the forest”).

Dmitry Pchelintsev told how together with Ivankin and Chernov they made a raft to cross the Sur reservoir in viking costumes and with plastic swords and another time, ”looking for a nest of eagle-burial and buzzard, in order to take samples of genetic material.”

Role-playing games in the forest, sometimes gathering up to three or four dozen participants, were held in different scenarios, portraying the soldiers of the red army, and even a special unit of the FSB, storming a building captured by a terrorist children’s camp.

But in the FSB such games were considered “training to acquire tactical skills of combat and sabotage operations as part of an armed guerrilla unit against civil servants and objects of state authorities.”

According to investigators, the roles (“scout”, ”tactician”, “communicator”, “medic”, etc.) were distributed within the “combat groups” of the “Network” “to achieve effective interaction between members of the terrorist community” with the aim of “forcible seizure and liquidation of state bodies and institutions of state administration” and “violent overthrow of power in Russia”.

A dozen guys from Penza and St. Petersburg according to the investigation allegedly planned to carry out such a global plan by “armed attack on law enforcement officers, military personnel, police buildings, warehouses with weapons, military commissariats, premises occupied by political parties, state institutions and infrastructure facilities”.

All this, “with the aim of destabilizing the activities of public authorities, rendering direct influence on their decision making and violent change of the constitutional system of the Russian federation”. This by the means of “the assassination of officials, police and law enforcement agencies” in conjunction with “bringing to the public the ideas of anarchism.”

Such a large-scale application, however, somehow badly beats the sluggishness shown by members of the community. Trainings were carried out not more often than a couple of times a month, and at all were lazy, “departures” practically come to naught.

In the case there is no information about the study of specifically planned operations. As for the “criminal skills” listed in the charge, many commercial centres freely offer them, even young children from six years of age, including the favourite toy of the Minister Shoigu Park “Patriot”. Older clients are offered ”the course of a young fighter”. Here you are offered the skills of tactical interaction, first aid and intelligence, along with sniper shooting and assault training with grenade launchers.

Similar services are offered by the St. Petersburg centre for fire training and tactics, “Partizan”, which positions itself as “a unique organization that helps the state to raise the level of it’s national security”.

It is on this basis, according to the available information in the case of operational officer Konstantin Bondarev, ”Yulian Boyarshinov together with other members of the community were trained in military and applied disciplines”. The skills gained there are now credited to the prosecution’s evidence.

Lawyer Vitaly Cherkasov filed a petition for the resumption of the investigation, including insisting on the need to give a legal assessment of the circumstances identified as a result of the then conducted, under the auspices of Bondarev, operational investigative measures. During this it was established that “Guerrilla” on the basis of the sports club “Reserve”, was officially registered as a public organization. Its founder is, D. V. Ganiev, known as the head of the informal structure of the national-monarchical wing “Imperial Legion”. It is unlikely that anti-fascists who attended the “partisan” courses were aware of this, as well as of the fact that all those trained there are included in the informal accounting records, and their data are stored on electronic media and in the so-called grey financial statements (which is reflected in the certificate on the results of the MPM).

Filinkov doesn’t deny, that he travelled to Penza and met with people, which share his worldviews, but he also says that he didn’t participate in any training. His words are confirmed by the papers of the case. In them there is no proof of Filinkov taking part in any training, according to his lawyer.

Filinkov does not deny that he at the beginning of 2017 took part in a ”congress of the left youth” in St. Petersburg. On this congress were participants from Penza, Moscow and Belarus. The investigation believes that they planned to discuss how to shake the situation in the country to achieve a revolution. The prosecution has no evidence for this. The case files only materials from the investigation of the Penza group about the structure of “The Network”, and allegedly the un-issued congress protocol, according to the lawyer.

The lawyer, Cherkasov, states that: ”It isn’t clear when these documents where created and who created them. It says nothing about if it is the protocol of the congress. It is impossible to determine that this text is of relevance to my client and others involved in the case. If you remember, the FSB initially said that the “Network” was preparing terrorist attacks against the world cup in football/soccer. These data are also missing in the materials”.

The lawyer prepared an eight-page motion to the investigator that the case could not be referred to the court in this form. He demanded confrontations with other defendants in the case. Some of them also said that they had been made to talk under torture. The investigator at once made a refusal and wrote that the lawyer Cherkasovs demands were unmotivated.

In January 2019 the first sentence was issued in court in ” The Network” case, against Igor Shishkin, who made a deal with the investigation. The court was held in a special order. The evidence in his case was not investigated. Shishkin completely admitted guilt and everything that investigators wrote, confirmed this in court and also gave evidences on other detainees, which can be held against them in the future.

The lawyer recalled the position of the European court of human rights, that the court should take into account, first of all, the testimony given during the trial of Filinkov, even if the defendant initially pleaded guilty. Cherkasov added that, ”Filinkov is now in a good mood and ready to listen to any guilt verdict”.

The preliminary hearing in the case of Victor Filinkov and Yulian Boyarshinov will be held on March 20th in the 224th garrison court in St. Petersburg. The meeting will be held as a closed session.

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