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(en) Repressions against anarchists in Rostov-na-Donu, St. Petersburg and Magadan of Russia

Date Sat, 13 May 2006 15:16:45 +0300


Student Witch Trials at Rostov University, Russia
In early Fall of 2005, a student newspaper called "Drach"* began to appear
within the walls of Rostov State University, published by a group calling
themselves "Khudozhestveniy Kruzhok Ekstremistkogo Brozheniya Mozga" (Creative
Circle of Extremist Brain Fermentation). You can get a feel for the paper's
content by visit it's website at http://www.drach-rsu.narod.ru. The Dean's Office
of RSU's Philosophy and Culture Studies Department, headed by Dean Genadiy
Vladimirovich Drach, beg?n ? merciless pursuit of the individuals responsible for
publishing the student paper. At this point it's important to note that
miraculously the chief suspects of this witch trial are RSU students who've had
previous conflicts with department and/or university's leadership, as well
as those whom the authorities probably don't wish to see as actual students
at this university. Despite the fact that the paper's editors openly and
consistently positioned their brain-child as primarily a project of artistic
interpretation and did not hold as its goal the denigration of anyone's
identity, as was repeatedly restated on the DRACH website's Guestbook
section, the Dean of the Philosophy Department continued to distribute false
information about the publishers' "shadowy" plans to "demean/shame the
University's honor" and to "smear individual professors with dirty insults."

In October, 2005 Genadiy Vladimirovich Drach called an extraordinary
assembly of students and faculty to discuss the student paper. On the
following day students D. Kulagin and P. Shalyapin were called into the
Dean's Office for a rendez vous with the Dean. The 2 students were informed
that since the Dean considers them to be the authors of the paper, they
should "kindly" collect their documents and leave for good. While no
evidence of the students' participation was presented, they were threatened
with a "less than kind" response should they refuse to collect their
documents voluntarily. Kulagin and Shalyapin deny being the paper's
publishers. They even wrote an explanatory note to the University president,
Belokon, to which G.V. Drach replied that they've yet to regret their
decision not to finish their studies "voluntarily."

We should mention that not too long ago Maxim Neronov was expelled from
the university supposedly because of his poor academic performance but
actually because the Dean's Office simply refused to accept his application
for 2 makeup exams during the summer session. According to his own openly
announced statement, Dean Drach also considered Neronov to be among the
publishers of the student paper "Drach."

During the January 2006 session of the Philosophy and Culture Studies
faculty council and the Dean's Office the question of the "Drach" paper came
up as well. It's known that several professors defended the suspected
students at this meeting, publicly proclaiming their disappointment about
the persecution of the students.

Three students -- Dmitriy Kulagin, Roman Shalyapin and Maxim Kononenko
-- were expelled supposedly because of failing grades (based on the Jan-Feb
2005 exam period) but more likely due to their professors' preconceived
notions of the "trouble makers." For the last 2 years, until this particular
incident, Kulagin's had no academic problems whatsoever. Some semesters
Kulagin even received a stipend for good academic performance. Kononenko
hasn't had any previous academic problems either. He spent his first year
taking correspondence courses and was transferred into the regular program
for good grades.

Until now, Shalyapin was a straight A student, an active participant in
numerous academic conferences, student life in general and was even was an
academic student group "eldest" for the duration of a year. None of this
seemed relevant to the Dean's Office, which also refused to allow the
students an opportunity to retake the exams. According to information
received from Department Chair Oleg Sokurenko, Dean Genadiy Vladimirovich
Drach himself issued a "directive" to "overwhelm" the
wayward students. According to information we've obtained, professor
Yakovlev, who marked these students' exams "good" and "excellent," had a
serious conversation with the Dean.

The students' problems didn't stop at being expelled from the university. On
30 March, 2006 former university students D. Kulagin and R. Shalyapin were
detained by people who identified themselves as police officers on
Yufeemzceva St. in Rostov-on-Don. The cops checked their papers, physically
forced Kulagin and Shalyapin into separate cars and took them to the GUVD**
office on Boodyonov avenue (Boodyonovskiy prospekt).

At the GUVD office the students were interrogated for 8 hours on alleged
criminal charges against the publishers of the Drach newspaper. The
interrogators/investigators kept mentioning a Drach article that "called for
the overthrow of the constitutional system." Throughout the entire
interrogation MVD, and apparently FSB (today's KGB), personnel used tactics
that included psychological pressure, threats of physical violence and
attempted humiliation. The interrogators showed Kulagin how they plant
illegal drugs on suspects they wish to incriminate, promised him that if
they're forced to search his apartment they guarantee that they'll "find"
weapons and promised that if he doesn't cooperate they'll "settle the score"
with his parents and relatives. Lieutenant A.P. Palashenko threatened
Kulagin with physical violence and rape in the Zona (slang for Russian
Federal prison system) if he doesn't "cooperate." One of the officers hit
Kulagin in the face.

The interrogators promised Roman Shalyapin that they'll go after his
pregnant wife Anna Shalyapina (Kozerazckaya) and in case another issue
(issue # 9) of Drach ever gets published detective Vyacheslav Viktorovich
promised to arrange a "heavenly life as the local bitch" for Shalyapin in
the Zona (federal prison).

After interregation Kulagin and Shalyapin were transfered to OVD
(another domestic security agency) officers who delivered them to the
Oktyabrskaya ROVD (Neighborhood OVD office). There the the two men were told
that while there is no criminal case against the Drach publishers, a
criminal case has been initiated against Shalyapin on the basis of a
statement given by Nikolai Zavada which claims that on 15 February, 2006
Roman Shalyapin threatened to kill him during a phone conversation between
the Zavada and Shalyapin. Some time later, Zavada revealed that he was
pressured by FSB operatives (new KGB) who forced him to write the statement
about Shalyapin.

The FSB agents' activity didn't end here. FSB operatives are trying to
pressure the local Military Enlistment Commission/Office regarding Kulagin's
review for military service. According to information provided by
Konstantine Kim, Director of the Central City Hospital's First General
Practice Section, during the period of Aperil 3 to April 10, 2006 the
General Practice office received a phone call from a man who identified
himself as an FSB operative, last name Bondarenko (the doctor says he's not
totally sure of the name and may have gotten the exact name wrong). The
caller "expressed high interest" in the health of the potential draftee and
his case in general. According to reliable and tested sources (which may be
named in the near future) we found out that the case of military draftee
Kulagin has been taken under the strict control of the FSB, as is known to
many of the doctors involved. Despite having been diagnosed with a serious
illness, the minimum
requirement for release from the military draft, Kulagin has now been sent
on his third identical medical examination at the regional
out-patient hospital. Many of the hospital's general practitioners and
Military Draft Office (Voenkomat) doctors are astonished because this is the
first time in their professional experience and the experience of the
Oktyabrskiy Voenkomat (the local Military Draft Office), that a person with
an diagnosed and confirmed serious illness is redirected for further
examination at additional medical facilities.

(Editors note - after publishing the article, Kulagin has escaped from
Rostov region in order not to be drafted to army, where service would be
very dangerous due to his illness - draft commission scrapped his deferment
and decided that he is able for duty in another Kafkasque episode. Most of
the other Drach editors have also leaved the city as they were unable to
find work due to blacklisting after getting expelled from the university).

Interrogator Vyacheslav Viktorovich is known to many as an FSB observer at
the Philosophy Department of the Rostov State University, familiar with all
of the local happenings and attitudes. At this point the Dean's wrath
exceeds all limits. According to 3-rd year Philosophy & Cultural Studies
student Sergei Kochnev he, along with some other people, is regularly called
into the Dean's office for questioning where they're threatened with
expulsion if they fail to reveal the publishers of the paper. Dean Drach's
wife, Mrs Chichina, has promised Roman Shalyapin's wife & student Anna
Kozerachkaya that she'll prepare special exam topics for her, hinting that
her days as a student in the department are numbered.

Kulagin and Shalyapin deny their participation in the publishing of the
Drach newspaper and openly admit being the authors of some of the articles
in the paper, which they even mentioned at the GUVD
interrogation.

Dmitriy Kulagin Is an active participant in various social, anti-fascist and
environmentalist projects which include the 2003 campaign against the
building of the methanol terminal in the town of Azov (Rostov Oblast',
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azov). Kulagin was a participant and one of the
initiators of the Free Student Movement in 2004, an editor of the civil
rights activist newspaper Alternativa, a lead columnist for the "PolitKlub"
column in the newspaper Igitur (a supplement to the official newspaper of
the Rostov State University and the paper of the RSU Student Union
"Rostovskiy Universitet") in 2004-2005.

Roman Shalyapin is a known writer in local circles (author of the book
Sphinxes), poet, musician (leader and founder of the Industrial band
Ierofaniya, musician and lyricist for several local punk rock groups).
Shalyapin is also the author of articles published in various academic
journals, a member of the Russian Philosophical Society, a participant of
many national academic conferences and competitions where in several cases
he even won recognition for receiving 1st and 2nd place.

According to FSB operative V.V. Yagutkin the pressure campaign against these
students was initiated by the Dean of the Philosophy & Cultural Studies
Department of Rostov State University.

We call on the general public to show us support for our resistance to
persecution.

Sincerely,

D. Kulagin, R. Shalyapin, A. Shalyapina.

Here are the relevant phone numbers:
==========================

Russian Country Code: 7

Rostov-on-Don city code: 863

Vladislav Vladimirovich Yagutin: 2499-564, 2564-109

Aleksandr Vladimirovich Belokon,
Rostov State University President: 263-31-58

Anatoliy Ivanovich Narezhniy,
RSU Vice President: 263-14-91

Genadiy Vladimirovich Drach,
Dean of the Philosophy & Cultural Studies Department: 230-32-48

RSU's Reception Desk: 226-31-58

Regional medical clinic: 222-033-36

*) Editor's note: The word "Drach" in Russian sounds similar to a slang
term for masturbation (Drachit' or drachitsya"). Drachit' means to
"Stroke" according to the Dal' dictionary (Slovar' Dalya):
http://dic.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enc2p/NT00038BD6

**) Main Internal Affairs
Directorate of the Interior Ministry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSNAZ)

Police raid in anarchist kolkhoz "New way"

17th of April 2006 5 PM police attacked anarchist collective farm "New
way", located in Boksitogorsk area of Leningrad Region surrounding St.
Petersburg. Three policemen, lead by officer Petrov stormed farm without any
search warrant, announcing that they are looking for two anarchists reciding
in farm. As Nikolay Panteleyev, whom they were looking for was missing, cops
set a fire to oven, and burned black flag, all anarchist literature they
could find in the farm, much of the personal correspondence of Panteleyev
and good amount of documents which do not have any relation to politics.
When leaving, police gave advice "not to raise any black flags anymore,
people may perhaps misunderstand and burn down your house". Residents of the
commune are going to challenge police behavior in courts, and as to spread
this information as far as possible.

Repression in Magadan in April

Magadan authorities decided to organise an OMON crowd dispersal training
during run up for a major protest against hikes in prices of communal
services, scheduled for 8th of April. As a protest against such strategy of
intimidation, unknown people painted graffiti to offices of pro-Kremlin
United Russia party and pro-government daily "Kolymskiy trakt". Graffiti
expressed indignation to politics of this party, and also certain neat
characteristics of the current president.

3rd of April FSB and RUBOP (Regional Administration on Fight against
Organised Crime) opened a criminal case for graffiti. 4th of April a 22 year
old anarchist A.D. was arrested upon an attempt to throw a smoke bomb to
aforementioned office of United Russia. Later on, three more anarchists were
arrested, accused of making the graffiti, but all four were released the
same day without any excesses from side of the services.
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