Ukrainian anarchists targeted by security police

The Ukraine Security Service (SBU) appears to be targeting the country's anarchist youth following an attack on a leader of the neo-fascist Right Sector last year. In December, SBU agents carried out searches at the homes of seven anarchists in the cities of Kiev, Brovary, Dnipro and Lviv. SBU officers reportedly forced two anarchists to sign a "cooperation agreement," and one of the activists had her passport confiscated. Those targeted were members of the groups Black Banner and Ecological Initiative. The searches were carried out as part of an investigation into an attack on Right Sector militant Dmytro "Verbych" Ivashchenko, a veteran of the war in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region.

Ivashchenko was attacked in the Podil district of Kiev on May 2 last year. Three youth wearing masks assaulted him, stabbing him in the back. Ivashchenko was hospitalized as a result of the attack, but recovered. Police identified two suspects in the attack—Kseniya Lapynska from Chernihiv and Vyacheslav Lukichev, a Russian national. Lapynska was arrested, and given a three year suspended sentence. Lukichev fled to Russia, but has since been detained by aithorities in Kaliningrad for "justifying terrorism online." The charge came after he posted a statement calling Mikhail Zhlobitsky, a youth accused of planting a bomb at an FSB office in Arkhangelsk, a "hero."  (Zaborona via openDemocracy)

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  1. More raids on Moscow anarchists

    FSB agents raided several flats in Moscow Feb. 1, arrest 10 people on "conspiracy" charges. They were later released, after all-day interrogations and physical tortures—except one, Azat Miftahov. He is accused of "fabricating explosives" and being a member of "radical anarchist organization" Narodnaya Samooborona (Peoples' Self-Defense). Several members of this organization have arrested, tortured or threatened over the past weeks. Some members had to leave the country under threat of long prison terms. (Mpalothia)

  2. Russian antifa activists get prison

    Two anti-fascist activists convicted of belonging to the supposed “Network” terrorist group were sentenced to a combined 12 and a half years in prison by a military tribunal in St. Petersburg. Victor Filinkov, 25, contested the charge, saying his initial guilty plea was extracted through torture. He received seven year. Yuly Boyarshinov, 28, pleaded guilty and received five and a half years. The two were accused of planning attacks during the 2018 presidential elections and World Cup tournament, but supporters say they were targeted for their political activities.

    The verdict on June 22 sparked protests, with supporters gathering near the courthouse and chanting “Shame!” and “Freedom for political prisoners!”

    The combined case was part of a wider legal effort against supposed “Network” adherents, with many defendants saying they were tortured into signing confessions. In February, seven suspects in Penza were sentenced to between six and 18 years in prison. (EFE, AP, Meduza, Meduza)

  3. Russian journalist found guilty of justifying terrorism

    A Russian court pronounced journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva guilty of justifying terrorism, but unexpectedly let her off with a fine. Authorities moved to prosecute Prokopyeva after she used a radio program in late 2018 to discuss the case of a 17-year-old who blew himself up at the office of the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, in the city of Arkhangelsk. Prokopyeva, who arrived at the court wearing a T-shirt bearing the words “We will not shut up,” said she would appeal the decision. (Thomson Reuters)