In October 2017 in Penza (Russia) arrests of local anarchists took place. First was Egor Zorin. After that – Arman Saginbaev, Ilia Shakurskiy, Vasili Kuksov, Dmitri Pchelincev, Alexei Chernov. Investigation believes that all of them were part of terrorist organization “5.11” (group of followers of nationalist Vyacheslav Maltsev who were preparing “revolution” on fifth of November). All except Shakurskiy, who is under home arrest, are in pretrial custody.
All of the detainees made statements about psychological pressure, torture with teaser, being hanged upside down. Some of them had weapons planted by FSB (Russian secret police).
When on 19 October wife of Kuksov (seems like the only one from the case who didn’t give testimonies after all the tortures) Elena came home, she noticed that Vasilii was not at home, although he was supposed to come earlier. She started calling him – nobody was picking up the phone. After several hours somebody tried to open the front door with the key. She looked into peekhole and saw 10 people – one of them was holding her barely standing husband. They told her that they are from FSB.
Jacket and pants of Vasilii were torn and covered with blood and mud, and his forehead and nose were badly injured, as if he had been smashed against the pavement. Elena later told that the search was short and superficial. The FSB officers then asked Vasilii whether he had a car. They took Kuksov and his wife to the car and ordered him to open the door. When he approached the car, Kuksov exclaimed the door lock was broken, to which one of the FSB officers crudely replied, “What do you mean by that?” The men searched the car, allegedly finding a pistol in it. Kuksov, who had been calm until then, screamed that weapon had been planted.
All of this happened around 3 months ago. In news agencies information appeared only in last weeks. One of the reasons seems like lack of plan of anarchist from Penza in case of arrests, bad organization and underestimation of possible repressions. Tortures and fabrication of the case became possible due to the fact that there was no media attention as well as help from human rights activists.
After New Year on 23 January in St.Petersburg antifascist Viktor Filinkov (IT-specialist, citizen of Kazahstan) was arrested on his way to an airport. Charges are “participation in terrorist network” based on decision of Penza court. It becomes obvious that all the arrested are trying to be squeezed into one terrorist group. After hours of torturing Viktor admits the guilt of participation in terrorist network. Now he is in FSB pretrial custody.
On 25 January in Petersburg in the same way one more person is arrested and tortured – Igor Shishkin, who is now as well in custody. Doctors concluded that Shiskin has broken bottom eye pit, multiply bruises and wounds.
Activist Ilia Kapustin was also arrested. He is now a witness in the case:
-They tortured me with electricity in crotch and belly. Used it to force me to say that this or that acquaintance was planning something dangerous.
Later on FSB made a statement that all of the arrested are part of anarchist terrorist organization called “Set’” (“The Network”). Goal of the organization was to overthrow government in Russia. Cops reported that groups exist in Moscow, Petersburg, Penza and even in Belarus.
“The Network” according to FSB existed since 2014. Creator of the organization is believed to be citizen of Penza Dmitri Pchelintsev. First the network was consisting of the people that Pchelintsev met at the concerts. Although right now the case is investigated under article “organization and participation in terrorist network” FSB is stating that there are evidence pointing to “violent overtake of power” and “armed rebellion”. Members of terrorist group were planning to “rock the masses to further destabilize political situation in the country” – as targets of the organization police officers and local heads of administrations were planned.
From materials of the case it comes that every members of the organization had a secret nickname. For communication they were using jabber and TOR.
From beginning of 2015 according to FSB each member of “The Network” had special role and tasks: Pchelintsev was a leader and ideologist. His right hand codenamed “Rigiy” (“The Readhead”) was a spy, he was responsible for collecting of information on different targets that were planned for annihilation as well as recruiting new members. Arman Sagynbaev (codename “Andey-Security”) – engineer and bomb technician was responsible for production and planting of explosives. Ilia Schakurskiy (“Spike”) – tactical engineer, he was teaching others combat tactics. Andrey Chernov (“Twin”) – communication engineer responsible for communication between members of organization. Egor Zorin (“Grisha”) – sniper, “under martial law participates in clashes with militarizes and police”. “Boris” – coordinator and ideologist. The youngest of them is 21, oldest – 27.
In summer 2016 from materials of the case we see that several other groups join “The Network” forming up together four Russian units. Penza got codename “5.11” or “Sunrise”. Moscow cell is called “MSK”, Petersburg – “Marsovo Pole” and “Iordan-SPb”. Group from Belarus was participating in trainings.
Exact amount of participants is not clear, testimonies in the case are not fitting one another. But all in all there are names of at least 17 people in Moscow, Petersburg and Penza.
In a materials of a case there are also an info about directed surveillance aimed on Filinkov. It, particularly, disclosed the meeting, occurred at 24 December 2017 in McDonalds: an antifascist was discussing politics, trainings in forest, methods of revealing the surveillance and crypto-currencies with two more activists.
According to evidences of Shishkin, St. Ptersburg group appeared at least at spring 2016. Young men and women were gathering in a forest twice a month, and were training on a territory of a airsoft polygon in Olgino, learning how to use weapons and a first aid basics.
In the summer 2017 representatives of “The Network” came to St. Petersburg from Penza, presenting “The code” – plan of the development of the organization. “During these meeting comrades from Penza were calling us to an active usage of violence against representatives of authority, to a so-called “black terror”. According to their beliefs, in case of coming of a “day X” – an accident, which may call the massive riots, we must wipe out with weapons and explosives the heads of local governments, the leadership of political party “United Russia”(a state authority-forming party in Russia – Pramen), heads of the local police” – that’s what is told in an evidence of Shishkin. His interrogation lasted for a whole day (!) – from 03.00 a.m. January, 26th to 03.00 a.m. January, 27th.
The value and truthfulness of these evidences are highly questioned. Apparently, a person, who is tortured by a electric shock, would tell not only that he was preparing to “kill the heads of local governments”, but anything else. In a bottom line, the accusations are: participation in an airsoft games and learning of first aid. It was enough for a dreadfully scare cops and provoke them on fabricating the criminal case of a terrorist group.
In general, for today 8 people are imprisoned in this case – seven are in a pretrial custody. Also, the searches occurred in minimum 3 more flats in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Moreover, at 1st February we were informed that in Evpatoria (Crimea peninsula, recently occupied by Russia – Pramen) state intelligence arrested anarchist comrade Evgeniy Karakashev. He is accused in public calls to terrorism via Internet. It is not clear yet, if this accusations are connected with “The Netowrk” case.
Meanwhile, the state and its puppets have already started a propagandist attack on the detained ones. In a “Noviye isvestia” newspaper the marasmatic libel was issued about the group of 20 anarchists who planed the overthrow of Putin and armed coup in a country.
(https://newizv.ru/news/politics/30-01-2018/anarhiya-21-veka-kto-koordiniruet-i-napravlyaet-podpolnoe-soobschestvo-set-b3c53d9b-696d-41fb-b37c-b95b1236e1cc ). As a proof the conversations in an old open anarchist forum are used. Apparently, we should expect a devastating reports on propagandist TV-channels when it comes closer to the court trial.
Apparently, the FSB officers are not so stupid to believe in these accusations. Well, if the real proofs of the guilt of the detained were existing, there would be no need in tortures and squeeze-job. Most probably, by starting the work on myth “Network”, the officers establish two aims: career development (it is evident, that for revealing the entire “international terrorist organization” they would get more privileges, career development and higher appointments for imprisonment of a few anarchists, playing airsoft), and second – the termination of the anarchists as a political power on the eve of the elections. Of cause, anarchists in Russia are not the strongest and the most organized opposition force. But their independence, uncontrollability and a potential for a radical actions make them a potential threat. In a previous years, in Russia National-Bolsheviks, nationalists, and antifa were successfully suppressed. The pressure on the most radical liberals is ongoing. Now there is a “turn” for anarchists: regime wants to secure itself as much as possible before the elections.
Watch the video prepared by the US anarchists comrades regarding the Russian case.
Meanwhile, the mobilization in favour of the arrested people is started. Since the information about a repressions was broke silence quite late, no one is going to leave the comrades without the support. Solidarity actions already occurred in Krakow (https://avtonom.org/freenews/solidarnost-s-politzekami-v-krakove ) and Paris (https://paris-luttes.info/nos-camarades-de-saint-petersbourg-9492?lang=fr ).
The crowdfunding for lawyesr is announced. Here are the invoice details for the transfers:
Yandex-wallet of the ABC-St.Petersburg. — 41001160378989
PayPal firstname.lastname@example.org — ABC-Moscow (it is important! – send it with a note “St.Petersburg”)
Your support is needed a lot. Also, regardless the country you live in, regardless you knew or did not knew anyone of the detained, have you or haven’t you ever sit by the fire in a camouflage pants, we advise all the comrades to strengthen the information security, the trust in your groups and discuss the plan of the action in case of detentions and interrogations. The wave of repressions may move in any side but we, the anarchists are used to it. We can and we must meet the attack of the state system in total readiness.