Tag Archives: repression of journalists Russia

Flowers for Mikhail Beketov

Editor’s Note. Below, you will find a call made by a friend of our platform, artist Nika Dubrovsky, to participate in a very worthy initiative in support of Mikhail Beketov, the independent Khimki journalist who was left severely crippled after he was attacked by unknown assailants two years ago. Nika’s initiative has been under way for a while and formally wraps up on Saturday, but everyone should feel free to write to her (at her blogs, listed below) to express their support or, better yet, donate money the Beketov assistance fund to pay for a rose or for his continuing medical treatment.





At 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 27, we are going to give roses to Mikhail Beketov.  The flowers will be given to him by Rada (Rada & Ternovnik) and several LiveJournal users (if anyone wants to join them, write! For the time being we have only two people who are in Moscow).

After long deliberations and conversations, it has been decided that the money should be sent directly to the account of the Fund to Assist the Journalist Mikhail Beketov. For the time being, the fund only has a bank account (in rubles and euros) and a Yandex Money account ( 41001783925783 mbeketov-fond).

Over the course of the next two days, the fund’s volunteers will add a Web Money account and will also add a special page where the names (or usernames) of all users who participate in the flower action will be entered daily.

Therefore, when you send money, don’t forget to immediately send a letter to the fund’s e-mail address: spravdoy.pressa@gmail.com. The volunteer handling this is named Vika. She has informed us that she will reply to all letters; if you do not receive a reply, send your letter again.

While the fund still does not have a PayPal account, I will provide my own: paypal.de@x-31.com. I will account for the payments made and publish the nicknames (or surnames) of the people who support Beketov. You should also send me an e-mail (nika@x-31.com) with your surname or username.

All the money collected will be taken to a flower shop that has agreed to roses from suburban Moscow at the cost of one euro per rose.

Each flower will bear a little name tag (“To Mikhail Beketov from…”). For us, the principle one rose-one person is important.

Our action is first and foremost an expression of our disagreement with the court that ruled that the crippled Beketov was guilty of slander. The flowers are signatures on a petition to the authorities, as well as a sign of respect and support for Beketov.

After my first post, some people offered their help in organizing the action, while other, indignant users demanded that the money be gathered not for flowers, but for food or a wheelchair.

It is my opinion that the Beketov fund definitely needs money. Beketov will soon be visited by a German doctor, who will arrange to continue Beketov’s medical treatments in Germany.

Everyone who feels that one euro for a flower is a blow to their budget can transfer one euro to the fund’s account with the note “not for flowers.” But, since we are on the topic, you could also send one euro for a flower, along with another ten euros for food and to pay for medical treatments.

However, we should remember that Beketov was not crippled by random hooligans. While we worry about how to spend our hard-earned euro, the people who commissioned this crime not only are still at large, but they also continue to engage in robbery. Even a superficial search in the Internet turns up evidence about the millions of euros received through kickbacks, bribes, and threats to foreign and Russian companies.

It’s a good thing that the Union of Journalists has awarded Mikhail Beketov a medal for bravery, but why can’t the authorities give him a worthy pension for the rest of his life and pay all his current and future medical bills?

A thousand roses at one euro each might give voice to this demand. That same thousand euros, if spent on his medical treatments, will disappear almost instantly.

Please donate one euro and (or) link to this post and (or) write your own post.


If you do not have money or a way of sending money, but you are also in solidarity with Mikhail Beketov, leave your username or name in the comments. I am certain that people will come forward who will send in 2, 3, 5 or 10 euros and will be glad to inscribe you at their own expense. That is the point of “one euro, one flower”: so that we can pay for each other.

This is how we will win.


Filed under activism, open letters, manifestos, appeals, political repression, protests, Russian society

Samara: Beria’s Heirs

“Any attempts to rock the situation with democratic slogans, to destabilize the state and split society, will be stopped.”
— Dmitry Medvedev, Annual Address to the Federal Assembly, Moscow, November 12, 2009

Beria’s Heirs Have Become Active

This morning (November 12) Alexander Lashmankin, founder and correspondent of the Samara Civil Rights Information Agency Svoboda, was stopped by FSB (Federal Security Service) officers near the entrance to his building. They presented him with a summons to report to Investigator A.N. Vospinnikov at the Samara Region FSB Directorate at 3:00 p.m. on November 12.

The same thing happened to Liudmila Kuzmina, a well-known civil rights activist and chair of Golos, a public organization for the defense of voter’s rights. Kuzmina likewise received an invitation to the FSB Directorate. In the invitation she was handed it was stated that she was being asked to give testimony in connection with an investigation into whether Lashmankin’s LiveJournal blog contained calls to commit extremist activity. Kuzmina was invited by Investigator A.S. Polstyanov of the 1st Department of the Samara Region FSB Directorate. Maxim Kalach, a journalist with the newspaper Samarskaya Gazeta, also received a summons. The civil rights activists have decided not to talk to FSB investigators.

The persecution of civil rights advocates and journalists in Samara Region began when two former officials from Rosoboroneksport (the state company for defense exports) came to power — Governor Vladimir Artyakov and I.K. Mironov, head of the Samara Region government’s department of public safety. Mironov had once been in charge of the Party organization in the Fifth Directorate of the Soviet KGB, which engaged in the persecution of dissidents. During the Yeltsin era, he was head of the investigative department of the agency for the defense of the Constitution.

The Samara Civil Rights Information Agency Svoboda has in the past published reports about Governor Artyakov’s misdeeds. For example, the agency published information about an appeal made by Valery Karlov, chair of the Civic Initiative movement, demanding that Governor Artyakov be dismissed and brought up on criminal charges for his misuse of the region’s budget. [Specifically, Karlov accused the governor of using large amounts of money from the budget to pay for weekly charter flights to Moscow, where he resides.]

And so now Svodoba editor Lashmankin has been summoned to the FSB.

Contacts:  alex.lashman@gmail.com, +7 9198075417


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Filed under political repression, Russian society