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The Embassy revealed the number of Russians in prisons and pre-trial detention centers in Belarus

The Embassy of the Russian Federation in Minsk: about 450 Russians are kept in Belarusian prisons and pre-trial detention centers The Russian Embassy in Belarus reported data on the number of Russians detained and serving sentences in the country. The persecution of at least 11 is linked to a civil standoff that began in August 2020 ” alt=”The Embassy disclosed the number of Russians in prisons and detention centers in Belarus” />

Action in support of Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapieha

346 Russians are serving sentences in Belarusian prisons, another 109 are under arrest in a pre-trial detention center, RBC was told at the Russian Embassy in Belarus. This data was provided by consular officers of the Russian diplomatic mission in response to a request in January of this year. At the same time, the response indicated that the information was last updated on July 1, 2021.

The persecution of at least 11 Russians is associated with a civil confrontation that began in August 2020, RBC was told in the Moscow Helsinki Group. Seven of them have already received sentences and are serving sentences in Belarusian colonies:

  • Igor Kopanayko received1 year and 6 monthsimprisonment for insulting a representative of the authorities (Article 369 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus) and hooliganism (Part 1 of Article 339). Kopanayko— 56 year old reserve officer. He was convicted for pouring polyurethane foam on the door of a police officer.
  • Alexander Gedzhadze— 3 yearscolony for organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them (Article 342). Gejadze, 35, was convicted for transporting tires in a car-sharing car, from which the protesters allegedly later built barricades.
  • Andrey Novikov— 2 years and 6 months for organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order, or active participation in them (Art. 342) and illegal crossing of the state border (Art. 371). 51-year-old Novikov was a volunteer in the team of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
  • Dmitry Popov— 16 years oldfor organizing mass riots (part 1 of article 293), preparing actions that grossly violate public order, or actively participating in them (art. 342), obstructing the exercise of voting rights (art. 191) and inciting hatred or discord (art. 130 ). Popov is 29 years old, he worked in the team of Sergei Tikhanovsky, moderated the social networks “Countries for Life”. He was detained back in June 2020, that is, before the protests began.
  • Evgeny Petrov— 1 year for insulting the President of Belarus (Article 368). 22-year-old Petrov was convicted for the lyrics of a rap song of his own composition.
  • Irina Vikholm— 1 year and 6 monthsfor slandering the president (part 2 of article 367). Vilholm, 58, was convicted for a tweet in which she called the forced landing of a Ryanair airliner a “Lukashenko crime” and “an act of state air piracy.”
  • Yegor Dudnikov— 11 years oldfor inciting hatred or discord (part 3 of article 130) and calls for actions aimed at causing harm to the national security of Belarus (part 3 of article 361). According to investigators, 21-year-old Dudnikov administered the Telegram channel “Civil Self-Defense Detachments of Belarus”. The Belarusian authorities recognized him as a terrorist.

Three more Russians are awaiting sentencing. 23-year-old Sofia Sapega, Roman Protasevich's girlfriend, remains under house arrest. She has already been charged under Art. 364 (threats against law enforcement officers) and faces up to 6 years in prison.

33-year-old Andrei Podnebenny is in the pre-trial detention center, he is suspected of committing a terrorist attack (Article 289). Podnebenny was detained on November 5 last year. The Belarusian KGB believes that he punctured the tires of several dozen trolleybuses in Gomel and set fire to a police car. For which part of the article it passes, it is not reported, the terms for it— from 8 years to life or death.

Least of all is known about the 22-year-old Russian Anton Lysov. He was detained recently, in October last year, since then he has been in a pre-trial detention center. He is suspected of intentionally destroying or damaging someone else's property, committed by an organized group, or negligently causing the death of a person or other grave consequences, or causing damage on an especially large scale (part 3 of article 218). On this charge, he faces up to 12 years in prison. Almost nothing else is known about his case, including where and what he destroyed or damaged.

One Russian has already served his term— 24-year-old Danil Chemodanov. Last year, he was sentenced to one year in prison for organizing and preparing actions that grossly violate public order, or actively participating in them. The court decided that such actions are a round dance, which was led by protesters at one of the intersections of Brest. Chemodanov was released on October 23 last year. After that, he was deported to Russia with a two-year entry ban, although he lived in Belarus for 22 of 24 years.

All but Lysov and Podnebenny, Belarusian human rights activists from the Vesna center are recognized as political prisoners.

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