Russian police during an intervention in Moscow against demonstrators supporting Ukraine (February 24, 2022) | PHOTO: ČTK/AP/Dmitry Serebryakov
On Sunday, March 6, protests against the 13-day invasion of Ukraine took place in 65 Russian cities. Under threat of lawsuits against journalists and closure of the media, the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Roskomnadzor federal office forbid reporting on the offensive war. Moscow says more than 3,300 people have been arrested during the protests. However, according to the OVD-Info project, which monitors police interventions, the number could be even higher.
Although the Novaya Gazeta server has already shut down its news section, it still managed to post an audio recording recorded on a dictaphone during a police interrogation after one of the many protests. She was one of the inmates and Alexandra, 26, from Moscow. Sounds of beatings and humiliations appear in the account of the entire interrogation published by the website.
The whole interrogation begins relatively innocently. The policeman is he asks his name and where he lives. When asked what her telephone number is so that the summons can be served, Alexandra replies that she wants to send it by post to the registry office. The next question is where he wants to go to school. Alexandra responds. Immediately, however, the sound of a knock can be heard on the recording. “It’s going to be a little bruise. Come on, get up, “comments the policeman, who He inflicts a new blow on Alexandra. She starts screaming desperately. “Can we continue? asks the policeman, and Alexandra just sighs.
“Yes, I’m threatening you”
Another policeman intervenes in the conversation and says: “Look at your breasts. Look at you, you monkey. The chief of interrogation will again ask for the telephone number Alexander could be called by an assistant judge. But she refuses again.
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The next recorded conversation should not be understood, however when the policeman speaks, Alexandra asks if he is threatening her. “Yes, I’m threatening you! “I’m threatening you with physical violence,” he replies. Here are questions about the inmate’s age, height and position, which he refuses to answer again.
The whole conversation then turns to the demonstration during which she was detained. “How did you hear about the demonstration?” asks the policeman. “I don’t know,” Alexandra replies, adding that she’s embarrassed because she doesn’t have a bra. He also asks the police not to look. The police agree that there would be something to look at. Two more shots follow. Alexandra states in the file that she was hit by a water bottle in the head.
“What do you think we’ll get you?” Putin told us to kill you! Putin is on our side. You are the enemies of Russia, you are the enemies of the people. I’m killing you,” the policeman shouts at Alexandra, 26, and continues the interrogation. He asks about eye color and repeats the question in a post. But Alexandra refuses to answer, citing Article 51 of the Russian Constitution “There is no interrogation at the moment”, replies the policeman.
“You get 220 volts”
Other questions revolve around how she learned about the protest. “I refuse to answer,” says Alexandra, again referring to Article 51 of the Russian Constitution. The policeman starts shouting again: “You live in this country, ku*va!”
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After more questions Alexandra asks if the police will kill her with an electric shock. “Yes, you get 220 volts,” one responds.
“Get up, they’re going to take your picture now”, they say. But Alexandra does not agree with the photograph. “No, I refuse to be photographed.” The police insist, and Alexandra begs her not to beat her. “I will not enter there, I refuse to be photographed. I will sign the rejection,” he adds.
The sound of an object is then heard in the sound recording. This is most likely a retained cell phone. “It flew for a while. It became a soccer ball. You don’t need it anymore. Everything is broken,” the policeman says, adding that it happened by accident. The recording also shows the opening of the door, the moans of the women and the echo of the rooms. “Get up”, said the policeman.This ends the whole recording of the interrogation.
The latest protests of a similar scale took place in Russia in January 2021, when people demanded the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Reuters reported.
About 2,500 people took part in the demonstration in Moscow, of whom 1,700 were arrested by the police; 750 out of 1,500 were arrested during the St Petersburg protest, the Russian Interior Ministry said. A total of 1,200 people demonstrated in other areas, 1,061 were arrested by the police.
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The 66.ru portal wrote that Yekaterinburg police intervened just minutes after the start of the rally, forcing dozens of people into police buses. In Khabarovsk in the Far East, according to a video posted on social networks, one of the demonstrators shouted “No war – that you are not ashamed”, after which he was stopped by two police officers. Their colleagues used megaphones to warn people they were in an unauthorized gathering and urged them to disperse.
Reuters reports that the Russian Interior Ministry warned on Saturday that law enforcement would prevent any unauthorized gatherings and that their organizers would be held accountable. The jailed opposition Navalny has called for protests today in Russia and around the world against the military attack on Ukraine launched on February 24 by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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