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(en) Anarchist Repression in Russia

From Mark Laskey <kronstadt@juno.com>
Date Sat, 3 Apr 1999 15:02:41 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

(a fuller and updated description of the case of 
anarchists arrested in Krasnodar, Southern Russia, on 
dubious charges)
It all started in a very familiar way. On November 28, 
1998 at Krasnodar railway station the cops apparently 
disliked the way several young anarchist punks looked and 
the fact that they drank vine in public. A search 
followed and some explosives were found in the bag of 
Gennady Nepshikuyev. Police has arrested him and 2 other 
people, namely Maria Randina and Jan Musel, a Czech 
citizen. Jan was released after a while on the insistence 
of the Czech consulate, Gennady and Maria remained under 

Little if any information is available on what happened 
between their arrest in November and February 2, when two 
more searches in the flats of anarchists were conducted 
by FSB (successor of KGB) in Moscow and a third person, 
Larisa Schiptsova, was arrested.  On this very day Vlad 
Tupikin, a Moscow-based anarchist whose house was 
searched and documents and computer confiscated, was 
asked by the FSB whether he knows of Shiptsova's attitude 
towards "national policy of governor Kondratenko". That's 
when the anarchists began to understand that they are 
part of the great Zionist design to overthrow the beloved 
governor of Krasnodar, whom the region's dwellers refer 
to as "batka Kondrat" (father Kondrat). This was just a 
first sign that the paranoid anti-Semitic governor and 
his lackeys are looking forward to present the case as an 
attempt on his life. The plot to assasinate Kondratenko 
will become just another minor detail (although nobody 
knows to which proportions it can be blown) of his own 
policy to blame everything on Jewish and other 

Nikolai Kondratenko became notorious after he made public 
chauvinistic and anti-Semitic statements on the regional 
TV (later aired on the national channel as well) and his 
support of regional Nazis became widely-known (Russia's 
largest fascist party, Russian National Unity, or RNE, 
operates legally in Krasnodar). Southern Russia is a 
fertile ground for Russian nationalism, with Cossack 
militias, who are usually racist and anti-Semitic and who 
are actively trying to arm themselves and get some legal 
status (the same as RNE, the Cossacks usually work 
together with police in patrolling the streets and 
fighting "people of Caucasian nationality").

For the Krasnodar anarchists it should have been little 
surprise that their comrades became the targets of 
Kondratenko's paranoid search for enemies. Kuban 
Anarchist Federation (FAK) was almost the only political 
group in the region to have the guts to openly 
demonstrate against nationalist policies of Kondratenko 
and the thugs of RNE. Local anarchists had a few fights 
with the Nazis and constantly received threats of murder. 
Maria Randina knew it too well - she was the most active 
anarchist to resist the establishment of nazi-controlled 
University police in Krasnodar (for which she was thrown 
out of the Krasnodar Uni). Besides that for a few years 
now Krasnodar anarchists were under close surveillance of 
the regional FSB, which was also due to the active anti-
fascist stance. 

Although the 3 persons arrested to this date are formally 
charged with transportation and possession of explosives, 
and no charges of terrorism and establishing a criminal 
group were presented to them, the regional papers 
controlled by the governor reported that an attempt to 
kill him was prevented. Kondratenko himself is reported 
by the press to be telling that the terrorists were going 
to plant a bomb into his office and that they were acting 
on behalf of "certain" (one can be sure, "pro-Zionist") 
circles in Moscow. "What else but money could bring 
together a Czech, an Adygeyan and a Russian from 
Siberia?" Kondratenko is reported to have said at a 
meeting of nationalist writers. (Nepshikuyev lives in 
Adygeya, a region bordering on Krasnodar region, Randina 
is originally from Siberia.)


Some serious difficulties have already emerged for the 
arrested people - while the usual cases of carrying 
explosives are investigated by the local police, the 
Krasnodar 3 received special treatment. They were placed 
into the prison of the regional FSB and the case is being 
conducted by the regional procurator's office and the 
Krasnodar FSB.

Larisa Schiptsova is suffering physically the most since 
she is 4 months pregnant and the nutrition in Krasnodar 
FSB prison is outrageous (a plate of watery soup with 
just a little cabbage and potato once per day). Already 
after 3 weeks of imprisonment her dents were bleeding and 
doctors already detected some problems in fetus' 

Larisa's attorney, Stanislav Markelov, also attracted 
attention from the investigators - all of the anarchists 
interrogated in Krasnodar at the end of February were 
questioned not only about the case, but also about where 
Markelov comes from, etc. It is no coincidence that 
searches in Krasnodar were carried out in the flats of 
people whom Markelov met when he was in town, even those 
who are not active anarchists and have no relation to the 
case. (Markelov was also an attorney for Andrey Sokolov, 
a young Stalinists sentenced recently for blowing up a 
monument to the Russian royal family. His case was 
reconsidered in mid-March, he got softer sentence for 
vandalism, not terrorism, and was released from prison.) 
There are chances that the investigators simply want to 
replace Markelov with a more obedient lawyer. 

Something similar to that was happening to Maria Randina, 
because until recently she only had a lawyer recommended 
by the investigator (since pressure was put on her 
relative who had to sign a contract with a lawyer). 
Fortunately another, more experienced lawyer was found 
for Maria, the one who has some experience at defending 
the "politicals".

Gennady Nepshikuyev, in whose bag the explosives were 
found, seems to be too talkative and his words are the 
only evidence for charges against the other two arrested. 
There are reasons to believe that he basically tells what 
the investigators want to hear (naming people, who cannot 
even be connected with the accused). Unfortunately FSB 
keeps his testimonies secret and there is no detailed 
information on that. Some anarchists believe that 
Nepshikuyev was either used by the authorities to create 
a "conspiracy" or is too willing to cooperate with the 
investigators now.


On March 30 anarchists and human rights activists 
picketed the Federation Council (upper houses of the 
Russian parliament) demanding release Maria Randina and 
Larisa Schiptsova. The protestors handed out leaflets, 
held large posters against the police state, for the 
release of the arrested anarchists and chanted slogans 
"The state is the main extremist", "FSB (KGB) is child 
murderer", etc. On the same day pickets were organized in 
Yekaterinburg and St.Petersburg (Russia) and Berlin. 
Various human rights, ecological and leftist groups are 
sending their protests to the Krasnodar authorities.

So far there is very few reports of the case in the 
Russian media, which apparently finds the story not 
spectacular enough. Now, with the war in Yugoslavia and 
nationalistic craze here in Russia, there are even fewer 
chances that the Krasnodar case will be among the topics 
actively discussed by the media. Not a single journalist 
showed up at the demo on March 30 (partly due to the fact 
that the media was preoccupied with Yeltsin's address to 
the parliament which happened on the same day, 
unfortunately at a different building). Groups set up in 
Moscow, St.Petersburg and other cities to campaign for 
the release of the arrested anarchists are continuing 
their efforts to break the media blockade.


Spread this information as far as possible. 
Demonstrate at the Russian embassies and consulates in 
your countries. 
Send petitions to the Russian ambassadors.

Please, send protests to governor Kondratenko and the 
regional procurator's office, which investigates the 

Nikolai E. Kondratenko, governor of Krasnodar region
350014 Krasnodar, ulitsa Krasnaya, 35
Tel.(7-8612) 62-57-16, fax (7-8612) 68-45-38

Krasnodar regional procurator
Fax (7-8612) 68-30-95

Donations to cover legal and other expenses are welcome. 
People in North America can send checks and money orders 
(both of which can be made out to M.Laskey or S. Hyland) 
PO Box 390085, Cambridge, MA 02139 
(Since International Solidarity Campaign also collects 
funds for Czech anarchists' legal defense, please, 
indicate that your donation is for the anarchists 
arrested in Krasnodar.)

There will also probably be an address for donations from 
Europe, it will be published later.


You can get in touch with the Moscow Group for 
counteraction against political repression at the 
following addresses:
113208, Moscow, m-208, P.O.Box 80, Vladlen Tupikin 
(please, don't write the name of the group, just a 
person's name on the envelope).

All of the information available on the "Krasnodar case" 
can be found at www.ecoline.ru/actions/bomba/
Most of the information is in Russian, but there are 
German and English sections as well. The site also 
features photos of Maria and Larisa, as well as photos 
from the demos in their support held in Moscow.

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