Tag Archives: Filipp Kostenko

Friday Evening Musical Movement: Dancing on Water in Petersburg

It truly is a magical time of year in Petersburg, Russia’s Northern Capital and the Venice of the North. These limber school leavers decided to celebrate by dancing “on” water (as the caption has it) near the beach outside the Peter and Paul Fortress (and pimping for Bank Rossiya in the bargain).

Meanwhile, in other parts of town, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum was underway. The city’s non-elected governor delighted guests at a reception held in conjunction with the forum with “nine-year-old girls in the role of living statues” (as the fellow who posted this photo on Twitter put it).

But what Petersburg celebration would be complete without senseless arrests? Yesterday evening, police nabbed our comrade Filipp Kostenko on Saint Isaac’s Square and wrestled him into a paddy wagon. His crime? According to local news web site Zaks.ru, Filipp was arrested and charged with violating city regulations on the use of parks and disobeying a police officer, adding that “next to him on a bench were blank sheets of paper, since activists were planning to draw posters for pickets.”

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Occupy St. Isaac’s (Saint Petersburg)

Devoted Opposition Remains at St. Isaac’s
By Sergey Chernov
The St. Petersburg Times
May 16, 2012

“Occupy St. Isaac’s” — St. Petersburg’s response to continuing protests in Moscow, dubbed after the square in the city center — entered its second week Tuesday, as anti-Putin protesters continued to gather on St. Isaac’s Square, holding debates, lectures, poetry readings and concerts.

The protesters’ main demands are dissolving the “illegitimate” State Duma and dismissing the “illegitimate” president while organizing new elections. Contrary to expectations, neither the camp on St. Isaac’s Square nor the “Occupy Abai” protest near the monument to Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbayev on Chistiye Prudy in Moscow were immediately shut down by the authorities.

The protesters have banned posters and placards out of fear that it would give the authorities grounds to disperse the protest, although one man stood Monday with a sign reading “We demand new honest elections” at the opposite end of the small garden. The white ribbons and white balloons that symbolize the demand for honest elections are, however, widely in evidence.

There are people of diverse political views — from left-wing to liberal to nationalist — at the site, but they have been making decisions by democratic vote and conflicts are being avoided or dealt with peacefully.

“The authorities have demonstrated that they are not going to take people’s opinions into consideration,” said social activist Filipp Kostenko, who describes his views as anarchist.

“That’s why there’s a need for an efficient alternative to this system, and grassroots self-organization can be such an alternative. This gathering on St. Isaac’s Square is an attempt at such grassroots organization and people’s interaction, regardless of the authorities and against the authorities.”

The St. Isaac’s camp emerged spontaneously when the police shut down a small local demo on May 7, the day of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration as president, when The Other Russia oppositional party urged residents to show solidarity with the St. Petersburg protesters arrested in Moscow on May 6 and 7.

The police arrested about eight people at the May 7 demo, but some of those who came did not leave, remaining to stand, talk or sit on benches, some playing chess.

Since then, from 50 to 300 people have been present at the site at different times of the day, with up to 20 staying overnight to keep the camp running around the clock.

The location was chosen because it is next to the Legislative Assembly and the City Elections Committee. On March 5, several thousand came there to protest electoral fraud, only to be dispersed by OMON riot police, who arrested more than 500.

Participants and supporters provide a constant supply of food and drinks, except alcohol, which is forbidden. The protesters have been keeping the site clean, packing trash in large plastic bags and taking it away.

On Tuesday, the camp launched its own website, www.uznay.org.

The police have been keeping watch on the protest from one or two vans parked nearby, sometimes harassing protesters with ID checks or petty demands, such as to park baby carriages in a different way or remove a table brought by some activists.

“The police decided to check the IDs of everybody who was here at four or five in the morning,” Kostenko said Monday.

“A group of about six policemen approached those who were here — about 15 protesters — and they started checking IDs, citing an alleged complaint from local residents that terrorists were gathering here. When asked to produce an all-points bulletin (APB), they retreated. But they had time to copy the ID information of five people or so.

“The other incident was when a policeman came and disassembled a plastic table, saying, ‘If everybody sets up a table, what will we have here — a canteen?”

Unlike Moscow, where best-selling author Boris Akunin and the veteran rock band Mashina Vremeni’s frontman Andrei Makarevich took part in protests, no local celebrities have come out to support protesters in St. Petersburg.

Locally based stadium rocker Yury Shevchuk, who enjoys a reputation as a politically conscious singer-songwriter and who protesters had hoped would join the campaign, declined to come.

“I have no time to stroll on St. Isaac’s Square,” Shevchuk was reported as saying when promoting his band DDT’s Friday concert on a local music radio Tuesday. “I am tired. Every concert is a battle in itself!”

Local club band SP Babai’s frontman Mikhail Novitsky, who also leads the Green Wave preservationist group, has been a frequent sight at the protest site.

It was there that Novitsky premiered a song called “Putin Is Afraid of Everybody” inspired by hundreds of arrests in the streets of Moscow on May 6 and 7 and the May 7 TV footage of Putin’s cavalcade silently speeding to the Kremlin for the inauguration through a deserted Moscow, emptied of people by the police and security services.

“No dogs, no cats, no bird will chirp; everyone has been arrested, because Putin is afraid of everybody,” the song goes.

Novitsky said he was shocked by the footage.

“There was some scary, sinister lie in this silence, so I tried to make a joke out of it and cheer people up,” he said.

“I think people realized that you should laugh at it rather than despair.”

According to Novitsky, who plans to give two lectures on ecology to protesters, the importance of the St. Isaac’s protest was in uniting people.

“If you do something regularly, quantity turns into quality,” he said Monday.

“The situation ripens, connections are forged between people, and all this will explode at a certain moment. There are about 100 people now, but the total number of people who have been here is more than several thousand.”

The Other Russia chose not to participate in the protest on St. Isaac’s Square, but concentrate on the next Strategy 31 rally for freedom of assembly due on May 31, according to the party’s local leader Andrei Dmitriyev.

“We support any forms of protest activity, but it doesn’t look very serious,” Dmitriyev said this week.

“People come, sit there for a while and then what? There are no slogans, no posters. They don’t appear to be ready for resistance, for confrontation with the police, for more or less decisive action. Perhaps that’s why they are left alone — because they don’t pose any threat to the authorities.

“We’re preparing the next Strategy 31 rally and inviting them to join us, because it’s a totally different degree of confrontation with the system.”

Photos by Sergey Chernov. Check out his LiveJournal blog for more photos from Occupy St. Isaac’s.

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Petersburg Court Rejects Filipp Kostenko’s Appeal

Kostenko Loses Release Appeal
By Sergey Chernov
The St. Petersburg Times
December 28, 2011

An appeals court on Monday refused to free Filipp Kostenko, who after serving 15 days in prison was sentenced to another 15 days last week in what his lawyer describes as a “political reprisal.”

Originally, Kostenko, an activist and employee of the human rights organization Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center, was arrested amid spontaneous protests against electoral fraud near Gostiny Dvor on Dec. 6. The following day, the court sentenced him to 15 days imprisonment for an alleged failure to follow a police officer’s orders, the maximum punishment for such an offence.

On Dec. 21, Kostenko was not released after serving his term. As around 20 friends were waiting for him outside the prison on Zakharyevskaya Ulitsa, upon leaving his cell he was detained again by officers from the counter-extremism agency Center “E”, who took him to a police precinct, his lawyer Olga Tseitlina said.

Kostenko’s political views have been described as anarchist and anti-fascist, which would make him a “person of interest” to Center “E”.

The arrest was made on the basis of the fact that Kostenko did not appear in the court for a prior alleged offense, although at the time he was actually in custody.

This other case involved charges that Kostenko allegedly used foul language when bringing food parcels to arrested friends on Oct. 16.

During the hearing the following day, Judge Yelena Yermolina did not agree to summon the police officers on whose reports the sentence was based to testify as witnesses and be cross-examined, according to Tseitlina.

The testimonies of defense witnesses were dismissed by Yermolina, who said that she trusted the police officers’ reports.

In doing so, Yermolina deprived Kostenko of the right to a fair court hearing, which is a fundamental violation of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, of which Russia is a signatory, Tseitlina said.

“The entire prosecution is based on the policemen’s reports,” she said. “If a prison term is a possible punishment [for a crime], one of the fundamental rights is to examine the witnesses who testify against you.”

Tseitlina described the charges as “absurd.”

“Why should Kostenko come to a police precinct and swear in public?” she asked.

“Also, it was 11 p.m., with nobody around, so how could he have disturbed the peace? If we look at judicial practice, such an offense is never punished that strictly. Usually, it is punished with a fine.”

For the first 16 days of his detention, Kostenko held a hunger strike, which led to deteriorated eyesight. He ended it when the people who were in prison with him on the same charges were released.

“This is revenge, political reprisal and a measure to stop Kostenko from his protest activities,” Tseitlina said.

“Even if we allow that Kostenko did use foul language – which is not the case, because he’s not that type of person – the punishment is disproportionate. And we cannot rule out that something like this will happen when he is released next time.”

In a recent statement, Memorial described the continued detention of Kostenko as “obviously politically motivated.”

“For all intents and purposes, [the state] is continuing to persecute Kostenko for his involvement in protest actions,” it said.

Tseitlina would not give the expected date of Kostenko’s release, but said that he would see in the New Year in custody.

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Petersburg Activist Filipp Kostenko Sentenced to Another 15 Days in Jail

memorial.spb.ru

The Persecution Continues: Filipp Kostenko Sentenced to Another 15 Days in Jail

December 22, 2011

On December 22, Judge E.K. Yermolina of the 153rd Judicial Precinct [in Saint Petersburg] sentenced Filipp Kostenko, an activist and employee of the human rights organization Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center, to another fifteen days of administrative arrest. For his involvement in mass protests against the rigged elections, Kostenko had already served fifteen days in jail, but in violation of procedure he was not released [as scheduled, on December 21].

As we have previously reported, the decision for Kostenko’s compulsory delivery to court was sent to the administration of the detention facility [where he was serving his first sentence] a few minutes before his anticipated release. This decision was made due to the fact that Kostenko had failed to appear in court [on December 9], although at that time he was serving fifteen days of administrative arrest.

This time, the activist was charged under Article 20.1.1 (petty disorder) for allegedly using foul language two months ago, on October 16, outside the 43rd Police Precinct. According to witnesses, on this day Philip had brought food parcels for detainees [at the precinct]. He was arrested and taken into the precinct building, although he had not disturbed the peace. There are a number of witnesses who can confirm this, and a video of his arrest also exists.

The court hearing lasted four hours, including recesses. An officer from the Extremism Prevention Center [Center “E”] was in attendance as a “spectator” the entire time, and from the very outset there was the sense that the most adverse ruling was a preordained outcome. For no reason at all, the judge rejected all motions made on behalf of the defendant, including motions to give the defense adequate time to prepare its case and to call witnesses. The judge granted only one motion by the defense: to admit V.V. Kostyushev, a professor at the Petersburg branch of the Higher School for Economics, as a public defender.

Because, in the court’s opinion, there were no grounds for “not trusting the reports filed by police officers that Filipp Kostenko had disturbed the peace by expressing a clear disrespect for society, which was accompanied by swearing in a public place,” the judge also rejected a motion to summon the [arresting] officers to verify their testimony and cross-examine them. In contrast to the reports filed by the police officers, the oral testimony of defense witnesses, who personally appeared in court, was not acknowledged as credible by the judge.

Despite numerous procedural violations, the lack of any real evidence (except for the evidence of the police reports, which Judge Yermolina found “compelling”), and an energetic defense, it was obvious to all present that the judge would give Kostenko the maximum possible sentence. The judge was not even troubled by the presence in the courtroom of numerous spectators and journalists (who, incidentally, were strictly forbidden from photographing anything or even making audio recordings).

Consequently, Judge Yermolina sentenced Kostenko to another fifteen days of arrest, and he has again been delivered to the detention facility at Zakharievskaya, 6. In the coming days, his attorney will file an appeal against this decision, as well as filing a new complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in connection with this new, illegal arrest (a violation of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights) [see below].

After this latest court decision was announced, Kostenko ended his sixteen-day hunger strike because all those detained during the post-election demonstrations in Saint Petersburg had been released, with the exception of Kostenko himself.

In the absence of an independent and impartial judiciary, the continued detention of Filipp Kostenko is obviously politically motivated. For all intents and purposes, [the state] is continuing to persecute Kostenko for his involvement in protest actions.

____

Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights reads as follows:

1.In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law. Judgement shall be pronounced publicly but the press and public may be excluded from all or part of the trial in the interest of morals, public order or national security in a democratic society, where the interests of juveniles or the protection of the private life of the parties so require, or the extent strictly necessary in the opinion of the court in special circumstances where publicity would prejudice the interests of justice.

2.Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.

3.Everyone charged with a criminal offence has the following minimum rights:

(a) to be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him;

(b) to have adequate time and the facilities for the preparation of his defence;

(c) to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing or, if he has not sufficient means to pay for legal assistance, to be given it free when the interests of justice so require;

(d) to examine or have examined witnesses against him and to obtain the attendance and examination of witnesses on his behalf under the same conditions as witnesses against him;

(e) to have the free assistance of an interpreter if he cannot understand or speak the language used in court.

_____

From a report on the hearing published on Free Voina:

Oleg Vorotnikov comments:

[Filipp] is one of the rare few who never use profane language at all.

Leonid Nikolaev, who also attended the hearing, reports:

The judge was biased. It was obvious from the beginning. Everyone was shocked by the incredibly rude manner in which she conducted the hearing. At one point, a defense attorney pleaded that [Filipp] was unable to participate in the hearing due to poor health (because of his 15-day hunger strike). In response, the judge inquired whether it was the jail personnel who starved him, or if he did it on his own accord. This is a gross violation of the procedure. The judge is only supposed to take into account the defendant’s present condition, not the reasons that caused it. [Filipp] was definitely unfit to participate in court proceedings. He was weak, did not ask questions nor make motions to the court, and when giving his testimony, he could barely stand.

The last witness of the defense was this pleasant, very civilized fellow. He somehow managed to induce rage in the judge even before he had a chance to open his mouth. She was incredibly pushy with him, especially because whenever she demanded something from him, he replied with “all right”. For some reason, she chose to interpret that as though he was making a judgement on whether her demands were right or wrong. The poor fellow almost got thrown out of the courtroom because of this.

I kept looking for a way for [Filipp] to escape. At one point the guards got distracted, so I suggested that he go downstairs, hop on my bike and get out of there. Turned out he was too weak for that. Damn hunger strike.

When the judge left the room after announcing her decision, the public started expressing its outrage out loud. Suddenly the judge barged back in and commanded the court guards to “write them up”. The guards grabbed a frail girl, activist of the Parents of St. Petersburg movement, and took her away. They are writing her up right now, and chances are she will be in jail with [Filipp] before the end of the day.

The arrested girl is Leda Garina, a film director and a friend of [Filipp]. She is reported to have been released after being fined 1000 RUB (30 USD).

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Petersburg “Law Enforcement” Continue to Persecute Activist Filipp Kostenko

Filipp Kostenko on the tenth day of his hunger strike

memorial.spb.ru

After fifteen days of jail and a hunger strike, Filipp Kostenko, employee of the Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center, a human rights organization, has not been released: the persecution against him continues 

December 21, 2011

On December 21 at 7:30 p.m., the fifteen days of administrative arrest to which Filipp Kostenko, an activist and Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center employee, was sentenced after he was detained during protests against vote rigging in the [recent Russian parliamentary] election, expired, but Kostenko was not released as scheduled.

Kostenko was arrested for taking part in mass protests after the parliamentary elections. In protest, the activist went on hunger strike, demanding the release of all people detained during the protests. The hunger strike lasted all fifteen days he was in jail. His lawyers appealed the decision to arrest him, but the judge turned down the appeal. At the same time, a complaint was filed with the European Court of Human Rights and has already been registered.

At the time scheduled for Kostenko’s release, colleagues, friends, and journalists were gathered outside the detention center at Zakharievskya, 6. Eyewitnesses report that Center “E” [anti-“extremism”] police entered the building right at the time Kostenko was to be released. When Kostenko was not released at the time stipulated by the court, his lawyer went into the building to find out why. It turned that the decision had been made to immediately re-detain the hunger-striking activist and transport him to a police precinct for compulsory delivery to court on another administrative [misdemeanor] charge. Thus Kostenko has found himself back in jail, this time in a police precinct, until his new court hearing.

The compulsory delivery decision was made by Judge E.K. Yermolina for failure to appear in court on December 9 (that is, when Kostenko was already serving a fifteen-day sentence at the Zakharievskaya, 6 detention facility, a fact well known to law enforcement officials). This decision cannot be regarded as anything other than a deliberate plan to continue persecuting him.

The new court hearing is scheduled for December 22 at 10:50 a.m. in Judicial Precinct No. 153 at Bolshaya Raznochinnaya, 23. Kostenko has been charged with petty disorder for allegedly using foul language on the Petrovskaya Embankment on October 17 of this year.

The continued detention of Filipp Kostenko is obviously politically motivated: for all intents and purposes, it is retaliation for his activism and involvment in protests. In these circumstances, given his continuing hunger strike and the danger that he will be given yet another unjust jail sentence, Filipp Kostenko is in vital need of support from the public and attention from independent media.

Photo courtesy of Free Voina

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www.avaaz.org/en/russias_corruption

It’s outrageous – after flagrant vote-rigging and decades of corruption, the crooks-in-chief are throwing anti-fraud leaders into the jails they should be sitting in themselves.

The government is terrified of mass public protest. They know their credibility is at its lowest after blatantly rigging the election and are responding with the usual dirty tactics: mass arrests, blocking critical websites and filling the streets with troops. Despite this heavy-handedness, Putin has to appear responsive to the public in the run-up to presidential elections – and if we raise a massive outcry now, we can press him to release these brave activists and demonstrate that the cry for accountability has only just begun.

Let’s build a massive petition to show that our movement can’t be jailed or silenced.

When we reach 20,000 signers, we’ll deliver our call to free the protest leaders to Putin and broadcast it on major Russian media. Add your voice for their freedom now, and forward widely.

Editor’s Note. Sign the Avaaz petition here. It’s not that this will help our comrade Filipp that much, but it certainly cannot hurt. If you forward this petition to your friends and colleagues, make sure to forward this information about Filipp’s plight as well. If you need any information about his case or where to address your protests and calls for his immediate release, please write to us at the address indicated in the sidebar.

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Free Filipp Kostenko!

Filipp Kostenko

memorial.spb.ru

December 9, 2011

On December 6, 2011, Filipp Kostenko, a social activist and an employee of the Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center, was arrested during the ongoing mass protests in Saint Petersburg. Currently in custody in the pre-trial detention facility at Zakharievskaya, 6, Kostenko has gone on hunger strike to protest his sentence.

Earlier, on November 25, Kostenko was arrested during a one-person picket at the Consulate of the Republic of Belarus to demand the release of the Belarusian human rights activist Ales Belyatsky and other political prisoners in Belarus. Although  he observed all the legal requirements for such a picket, he was then likewise charged with disobeying police. The case, however, never came to trial, because there was no evidence of any wrongdoing.

On December 7, Judge Kuznetsov of the 203rd Judicial Precinct gave Kostenko the maximum possible sentence – fifteen days of administrative arrest, which by law should be applied only in “exceptional cases.” As stated in the court’s decision, Kostenko was convicted of disobeying police, namely, for refusing “to obey an order to cease participating in a demonstration.” Sentencing Kostenko to the maximum term of the harshest possible punishment [in this case] is clearly disproportionate [to his alleged crime]. It is obviously a repressive measure aimed at preventing the activist and civil rights advocate from exercising his right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

It is unreasonable to detain people who peacefully protest violations during elections. The Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center deems it unacceptable and contrary to international norms to prosecute anyone exercising their right to peaceful assembly. The unhindered exercise of this right is particularly important in tandem with the right to free elections in a democratic society: it is a condition for guaranteeing free expression and an effective tool for protecting the right of citizens to free elections in the event of violations of this right. As Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg has noted in light of the current situation, “Freedom of assembly is extremely important, especially after an election, and this right is protected under the European Convention on Human Rights. Arresting people and sentencing them to prison only because they took part in demonstrations contravenes the European Convention. “

In its December 5 statement, Amnesty International likewise recognized all those people arrested and sentenced during the current peaceful protests as prisoners of conscience and demanded their immediate release. (“They are prisoners of conscience and they must be released immediately.”)

In addition to the unreasonable and disproportionate punishment for what was essentially a peaceful action, the Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center also expresses grave concern about conditions in the detention facility at Zakharievskaya, 6. Earlier, in a case that the Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center brought before the European Court of Human Rights, the conditions of detention at this facility were recognized by the court as inhumane and in violation of international norms.

Filipp Kostenko has gone on hunger strike to protest what he considers an unjust sentence and demand the release of all those arrested during the current peaceful demonstrations. One other detainee, Viktor Demyanenko, sentenced to ten days’ administrative arrest on a similar charge, has joined the hunger strike.

Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center demands that the authorities cease persecuting people for the peaceful exercise of their rights, respect international standards guaranteeing the right to freedom of assembly and fair elections, and free wrongfully detained and convicted persons, including social activist and civil rights advocate Filipp Kostenko.

Photo courtesy of Free Voina.

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Timur Kacharava: Five Years Later

The St. Petersburg Times
Issue #1626 (87), Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Five Years On, Antifascists Mourn Kacharava’s Death
By Sergey Chernov, Staff Writer

As antifascist activists marked the fifth anniversary of the murder of the 20-year-old antifascist activist and punk musician Timur Kacharava on Saturday, they claimed that they are under increasing pressure from the police, while the threat of attacks from nationalist radicals has not decreased.

Antifascist Filipp Kostenko filed a lawsuit against the Prosecutor’s Investigative Committee last week after four anti-extremism Center E operatives broke into his apartment, searched it and arrested an activist, Rinat Sultanov, who was there at the time.

The investigators had called the fire brigade to break down the metal door to get into the apartment. The three activists who were in the apartment were thrown on the floor and kicked in the stomach, Kostenko said Thursday.

“When I came 15 or 20 minutes later, they were still lying on the floor, but I asked the [officers] to stop this and they put [the activists] into different corners,” he said.

“But they didn’t beat anybody when I was there.”

Kostenko said it was done to intimidate the activists on the eve of the Nov. 4 antifascist rally and prevent the rally, of which he was one of the organizers, from taking place.

The rally, called “Defend the City from Fascism,” was held to counter the extreme nationalist Russian March that took place on the same day, and was authorized by City Hall.

“They arrested Sultanov for an old fight that took place two years ago and seized a lot of things that don’t even belong to him,” Kostenko said. “If they had just wanted to arrest him, it could have been done in some other manner.”

Sultanov has been charged with “inflicting grievous bodily harm” during an incident that took place on the Russian March on Nov. 4, 2008.

According to Kostenko, the investigators took computers, magazines and banners for the rally, among other things.

Lawyer Iosif Gabuniya said Thursday that a complaint against the actions of the investigator who conducted the search, and an application for the opening of a criminal case against the investigator have been filed.

According to Gabuniya, the investigators committed a number of violations during the search, including refusing to allow him to enter the apartment to observe how the search was being conducted.

“I think the actions were illegal and the rights of my client were violated, and that’s why I believe that the court will find them illegal,” Gabuniya said.

“There was also material damage; the door has been broken. We’ll also be suing for the material damages to be compensated.”

Kostenko said that the authorities turn a blind eye to the activities of nationalist organizations in St. Petersburg.

“They do arrest neo-Nazis who are directly involved in terrorism, but many nationalist organizations are aimed at cooperation with the authorities,” Kostenko said.

According to Kostenko, the threat of attacks committed by nationalist radicals against antifascist activists is still high, as an attack on the fans of the Karelia-Discovery Soccer Club at a soccer match in the town of Pushkin in August demonstrated. Dozens of fans of the club, who are widely regarded as sharing antifascist views, were beaten.

“At some point it appeared to be decreasing, but after the attack in Pushkin it became clear that the threat is still here,” Kostenko said.

“They have even progressed to the next level, because to attack a full stadium of fans, that’s quite a well planned action, and it shows that nationalists, although in the underground, are getting ready for some very decisive actions and are capable of carrying them out,” he said.

“Perhaps they coordinate their actions with the authorities, because there were only ten policemen at that match. Soccer matches are events that are widely regarded as having the potential for conflict, and yet there were only ten policemen providing security.”

For the murder of Kacharava, four extreme nationalists were sentenced to 2 to 12 years in prison and three received suspended sentences in 2007.

Dozens brought candles and flowers Saturday to an annual vigil near the Bukvoyed bookstore on Ligovsky Prospekt where Kacharava was stabbed to death.

Photo by Sergey Chernov. See his complete photo reportage of the memorial for Timur Kacharava here.

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