The Russian government did not wait for the trial of Olesya Krivtsova, a 19-year-old student from the northern city of Arkhangelsk, to begin. before adding her On the list of “terrorists and extremists”.
The January 10 appointment saw Krivtsova spend two months under house arrest and face the possibility of more than 10 years in prison for “justifying acts of terrorism” and “discriminating the armed forces of the Russian Federation.” It was done when
“The worst possibilities are swirling in my head,” Krivtsova told the present time in an interview from her home. … I try to fit myself into that possibility.”
Krivtsova’s Kafka-style case began on December 26 when police showed up to search the apartment she shares with her husband.
“Olesya did not see the search,” her mother Natalia Krivtsova told RFE/RL. “They kicked her out of the apartment 10 minutes after she arrived.”
Her mother said a police officer stood over Krivtsova and threatened her with a sledgehammer while the search was underway. Later, officials from the Ministry of the Interior’s Anti-Extremism Center separately told her and her husband that the visit was “a greeting from the Wagner Mercenary Group.”
Just a few weeks ago, the Kremlin-related Wagner Group Publish extreme videos Convicted killer Evgeny Nudin, who was drafted out of prison to fight in Ukraine, was branded a traitor and killed by having his skull crushed with a hammer. was.
Since Russia’s unilateral invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Thousands of Anti-War Opponents It has faced prosecution and persecution under hastily passed laws that make it a crime to knowingly spread false information about a state-claimed war or to “discriminate” its armed forces. Krivtsova herself was fined 30,000 rubles ($425) for publicly displaying her anti-war stickers in April.
“Destroy people’s lives”
At the first court hearing after Krivtsova’s arrest, it was revealed that the case against her was based on accusations from fellow college students who participated in a closed university Telegram chat that RFE/RL could see. I was.
“At the hearing, they mentioned the names of two people I know who were in that chat. They were discussing how best to file charges — police. Or to the police. [Federal Security Service]she told Current Time, a Russian-language network run by RFE/RL in partnership with VOA.
“I’ve known them for a long time,” she added. “I had a pretty good relationship with one person. We chatted face-to-face from time to time. Another witness once helped me carry a heavy bag. The strangest thing.” is that one of them sent me a copy of the chat.”
She added that her attorney had not received a copy of any charges that may have been filed.
In October, when chat participants were discussing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one of them posted a screenshot of Krivtsova’s Instagram story, in which she described how Russian soldiers should surrender. I have reposted the recommendations of the Ukrainian authorities about the Kika and the photos of the killed Ukrainian civilians.
“This is illegal,” wrote one participant. “Maybe I need to open a case?”
Some time later, the same participant wrote:he has a friend [security] Consult them with organs.
Later, someone posted a screenshot of a post by university lecturer Alexei Felt, in which he wrote, “Condemnation does not make patriots,” and participants began discussing it.
“I think there’s a difference between condemnation and criticism of someone,” wrote one. “Slandering someone is for personal reasons.”
“What we have here is illegal, and I think we have a duty to speak up, especially since we know what they do to the boys who surrendered,” added another Russian prisoners are routinely mistreated in Ukrainian custody.
“Indictment is a patriot’s duty,” wrote a third. Even better, media exposure. Bullying works better than the Home Office. ”
Olesya takes these criminal charges as a difficult trial that she will have to endure. The important thing is that she is not broken and is not broken. ”
Krivtsova said she believes students are motivated by “ideological” beliefs.
“I think they all believe that their actions are proper and fair and should be punished according to the law,” she said. I think.
“People steeped in militaristic ideology find dissent easily because they believe that dissent can lead to the defeat of the military, the defeat of the president, or the defeat of the country.” “I mean, they think they’re blaming ‘for the good,’ at least in their own minds.
“But even if you have an ideology and are prepared to defend your country by such means, you can probably find another way. ) is immoral to ruin someone’s life.”
Two days after her arrest, Krivtsova faced a custody hearing, during which the court ordered her to remain under house arrest pending trial.
A week later, police detained her again. They argued in court that they had bought two one-way train tickets to the Russian border region in her name, claiming that she was in danger of fleeing her new home. I requested a custody hearing. Krivtsova denied buying tickets, adding that she could not because she did not have a valid domestic passport.
During the hearing, defense attorneys asked the National Railways for records showing when, where and how the alleged tickets were purchased, as well as an opportunity to question witnesses. The judge denied their request.
In the end, the court denied the prosecution’s request to detain her, instead placing restrictions on her house arrest and preventing her from using the Internet.
“She did not violate the terms of her house arrest or interfere with the investigation,” Krivtsova’s mother said. “Olesya takes these criminal charges as a difficult trial that she has to endure. The main thing is that she was not and was not broken.
“Olesya has done nothing wrong,” she said. “She has nothing to do with her. She has nothing to sympathize with her.”