Russian Military and Mercenaries Directly Implicated in Torture of Ukrainian Prisoners

Dec 14 2015

Ukrainian human rights activists believe that over 87 percent of Ukrainian soldiers and half the civilians who have been taken prisoner by Kremlin-backed, pro-Russian militants in the Donbas have been subjected to torture or ill treatment.

Additionally, in over 40 percent of the so-called “interrogations,” key roles were played by mercenaries from the Russian Federation or by people who identified themselves as Russian military personnel.

The coalition Justice for Peace in Donbas has just released a report entitled “Those Who Survived Hell.” The study is based mainly on a survey of 165 people, both soldiers and civilians, who were held captive by the militants. In many cases, even those who were not themselves tortured report witnessing or hearing the torture of others. One-third of the soldiers in the study, as well as 16 percent of the civilians, had personally witnessed a death as the result of torture.

Oleh Martynenko, one of the authors of the report, notes that the conditions in which prisoners and hostages are held do not meet any international standards. In two-thirds of the imprisonment sites, no medical care is available. Disturbingly, however, the presence of medical staff is no guarantee of greater protection. The researchers found cases where medical workers had taken part in torture, by bringing the victim around in order for the torture to continue.

Martynenko says that the researchers had not anticipated the high ratio of mercenaries and Russian military personnel implicated in the torture of prisoners. This is grounds, he adds, for charging Russia with involvement in war crimes and other offenses—offenses that cannot fall under any “amnesty” currently promoted by Western leaders as part of a peace deal for the region.

Anyone is at risk

Groups organizing prisoner exchanges say that by July 1 of this year, around 2,500 hundred prisoners had been freed, and another 500 remained in captivity. Ukraine’s Interior Ministry says that over 6,000 people have been taken prisoner or have disappeared without a trace, with the fate of 1,500 still unknown.

According to the study, most of the people who have been taken prisoner by the militants are local residents of areas under militant control, although some were simply trying to reach relatives or friends and were detained at checkpoints without explanation. Most chillingly, residents were taken from their homes or workplaces without warrants, and often the militants would then steal their property. Anyone can be targeted, the coalition points out.

One person recounts how six men wearing camouflage gear decorated with St. George ribbons and brandishing Kalashnikov rifles burst into his home and knocked down his elderly mother. He was dragged from the sofa and had his arms bound behind his back. The soldiers removed his computer, telephone, and wallet, and even took a bottle of vodka.

Oleksandra Matviychuk, one of the authors of the report, explains that people are usually accused of holding the wrong (pro-Ukrainian) views, of speaking Ukrainian, or of having Ukrainian flags and other symbols in their home. Or the militants accuse them of having taken part in Euromaidan or pro-unity marches. Sometimes they’re accused of having photographed strategic places.

Maria Varfolomeyeva, the 30-year-old journalist who had stayed in Luhansk to care for her elderly grandmother, has now been held hostage since January. The militants claimed that, as an artillery spotter for the Ukrainian army, she had been photographing the militants’ residences, and threatened her with a fifteen-year “sentence.” There had been no shelling in Luhansk for months before she was seized. Negotiations are still underway to obtain her release, almost eleven months later.

Just under 12 percent of civilians detained were women. Half of these, including women who were pregnant or elderly, faced ill treatment.

Over 18 percent of all of those surveyed had been kicked or punched, and almost 22 percent were beaten with the militants’ rifles. Almost 6 percent experienced other forms of torture, including electric shocks, squeezing of their toes or fingers with tweezers, multiple bullet wounds from shock pistols or similar weapons, and the use of sharp items to cause injury. Almost 75 percent of the civilians in captivity had been threatened with firearms or other weapons.

A woman taken prisoner said of her experience, “I was beaten by a man who called himself Oleg Kubrak. He threatened to rape me, and slashed my arms, legs, and neck with a knife.” Another prisoner recounted, “The militants began to hit me with the butt of their machine guns around the head, back, to my arms. They pulled my arms behind my back. Each tried to hit me, each tried to grab me by the hair.”

Russian captors

Of the Ukrainian soldiers and volunteer battalion members who were captured, 83 percent reported that they had been seized as a result of military clashes and with the direct involvement of Russian Federation forces. One Russian soldier, nicknamed “the Greek,” even presented a document identifying himself as a special response Spetsnaz officer from Moscow; another was commander of the Pskov paratrooper unit.

The study showed that over 87 percent of the Ukrainian soldiers and volunteer fighters captured faced especially brutal treatment, including physical violence and deliberate maiming, as well as humiliation.

To intimidate others, and to show off their captives as “trophies,” the militants have quite openly paraded the men they have taken captive. The most notorious occasion occurred in 2014, on Ukraine’s Independence Day, August 24: militants from the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” staged a shameful march through Donetsk of Ukrainian prisoners. A similar display took place in January this year.

Much of the above treatment, as well as documented cases of abductions and extrajudicial executions, fall within the scope of the International Criminal Court. Ukrainian human rights activists are adamant that Ukraine must ratify the Rome Statute as a matter of priority, so that those guilty of grave war crimes can be brought to answer for their offenses.

This article first appeared on The Atlantic Council site.

by Halya Coynash,
member of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

Additionally, in over 40 percent of the so-called “interrogations,” key roles were played by mercenaries from the Russian Federation or by people who identified themselves as Russian military personnel.

The coalition Justice for Peace in Donbas has just released a report entitled “Those Who Survived Hell.” The study is based mainly on a survey of 165 people, both soldiers and civilians, who were held captive by the militants. In many cases, even those who were not themselves tortured report witnessing or hearing the torture of others. One-third of the soldiers in the study, as well as 16 percent of the civilians, had personally witnessed a death as the result of torture.

Oleh Martynenko, one of the authors of the report, notes that the conditions in which prisoners and hostages are held do not meet any international standards. In two-thirds of the imprisonment sites, no medical care is available. Disturbingly, however, the presence of medical staff is no guarantee of greater protection. The researchers found cases where medical workers had taken part in torture, by bringing the victim around in order for the torture to continue.

Martynenko says that the researchers had not anticipated the high ratio of mercenaries and Russian military personnel implicated in the torture of prisoners. This is grounds, he adds, for charging Russia with involvement in war crimes and other offenses—offenses that cannot fall under any “amnesty” currently promoted by Western leaders as part of a peace deal for the region.

Anyone is at risk

Groups organizing prisoner exchanges say that by July 1 of this year, around 2,500 hundred prisoners had been freed, and another 500 remained in captivity. Ukraine’s Interior Ministry says that over 6,000 people have been taken prisoner or have disappeared without a trace, with the fate of 1,500 still unknown.

According to the study, most of the people who have been taken prisoner by the militants are local residents of areas under militant control, although some were simply trying to reach relatives or friends and were detained at checkpoints without explanation. Most chillingly, residents were taken from their homes or workplaces without warrants, and often the militants would then steal their property. Anyone can be targeted, the coalition points out.

One person recounts how six men wearing camouflage gear decorated with St. George ribbons and brandishing Kalashnikov rifles burst into his home and knocked down his elderly mother. He was dragged from the sofa and had his arms bound behind his back. The soldiers removed his computer, telephone, and wallet, and even took a bottle of vodka.

Oleksandra Matviychuk, one of the authors of the report, explains that people are usually accused of holding the wrong (pro-Ukrainian) views, of speaking Ukrainian, or of having Ukrainian flags and other symbols in their home. Or the militants accuse them of having taken part in Euromaidan or pro-unity marches. Sometimes they’re accused of having photographed strategic places.

Maria Varfolomeyeva, the 30-year-old journalist who had stayed in Luhansk to care for her elderly grandmother, has now been held hostage since January. The militants claimed that, as an artillery spotter for the Ukrainian army, she had been photographing the militants’ residences, and threatened her with a fifteen-year “sentence.” There had been no shelling in Luhansk for months before she was seized. Negotiations are still underway to obtain her release, almost eleven months later.

Just under 12 percent of civilians detained were women. Half of these, including women who were pregnant or elderly, faced ill treatment.

Over 18 percent of all of those surveyed had been kicked or punched, and almost 22 percent were beaten with the militants’ rifles. Almost 6 percent experienced other forms of torture, including electric shocks, squeezing of their toes or fingers with tweezers, multiple bullet wounds from shock pistols or similar weapons, and the use of sharp items to cause injury. Almost 75 percent of the civilians in captivity had been threatened with firearms or other weapons.

A woman taken prisoner said of her experience, “I was beaten by a man who called himself Oleg Kubrak. He threatened to rape me, and slashed my arms, legs, and neck with a knife.” Another prisoner recounted, “The militants began to hit me with the butt of their machine guns around the head, back, to my arms. They pulled my arms behind my back. Each tried to hit me, each tried to grab me by the hair.”

Russian captors

Of the Ukrainian soldiers and volunteer battalion members who were captured, 83 percent reported that they had been seized as a result of military clashes and with the direct involvement of Russian Federation forces. One Russian soldier, nicknamed “the Greek,” even presented a document identifying himself as a special response Spetsnaz officer from Moscow; another was commander of the Pskov paratrooper unit.

The study showed that over 87 percent of the Ukrainian soldiers and volunteer fighters captured faced especially brutal treatment, including physical violence and deliberate maiming, as well as humiliation.

To intimidate others, and to show off their captives as “trophies,” the militants have quite openly paraded the men they have taken captive. The most notorious occasion occurred in 2014, on Ukraine’s Independence Day, August 24: militants from the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” staged a shameful march through Donetsk of Ukrainian prisoners. A similar display took place in January this year.

Much of the above treatment, as well as documented cases of abductions and extrajudicial executions, fall within the scope of the International Criminal Court. Ukrainian human rights activists are adamant that Ukraine must ratify the Rome Statute as a matter of priority, so that those guilty of grave war crimes can be brought to answer for their offenses.

This article first appeared on The Atlantic Council site.

by Halya Coynash,
member of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group

FRF Lauds New US Sanctions Targeting the Kremlin’s Perpetrators in Crimea, Calls for Their Expansion

Apr 15 2021

On April 15, 2021,  President Biden signed new sanctions against a number of officials and agents of the Russian Federation in connection with malign international activities conducted by the Russian government.

The list of individuals sanctioned by the new law includes Leonid Mikhalyuk, director of the Federal Security Service in the Russian-occupied Crimea.

A report issued by Free Russia Foundation, Media Initiative for Human Rights and Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union in December 202, identified 16 officials from Russian law enforcement and security agencies as well as the judiciary operating on the territory of the Ukrainian Crimean Peninsula currently occupied by the Russian Federation. These individuals have been either directly involved or have overseen political persecution of three prominent Crimean human rights defenders – Emir-Usein Kuku, Sever Mustafayev and Emil Kurbedinov.

Leonid Mikhailiuk is one of these officials. He has been directly involved and directed the repressive campaign in the occupied Crimea, including persecution of innocent people on terrorism charges and massive illegal searches. The persecution of Server Mustafayev was conducted under his supervision. As the head of the FSB branch in Crimea, he is in charge of its operation and all operatives working on politically motivated cases are his subordinates. 

Within the extremely centralized system of the Russian security services, Mikhailiuk is clearly at the top rank of organized political persecution and human rights violations.

Free Russia Foundation welcomes the new sanctions and hopes that all other individuals identified in the report will also be held accountable.

Joint Call of Parliamentarians on the condition of Alexei Navalny in prison

Apr 08 2021

April 8, 2021

We, the undersigned, are shocked and troubled by the most recent news of Alexei Navalny’s condition in prison. 

Russia’s leading opposition figure is reported to suffer severe back pain with losing sensitivity in parts of his legs. It is no more than six months since he survived a vicious poisoning attack with a nerve agent that has long-term crippling effects on his health. In prison, he is systematically denied any medical treatment. On top, prison guards wake him up every hour at night, a practice amounting to torture by sleep deprivation according to his lawyers. This is why medical experts called on the Russian authorities to allow Mr. Navalny’s treatment and why he himself now resorted to a hunger strike. Let’s not forget: Mr. Navalny’s incarceration itself is a travesty of justice – he was formally sent to prison for not checking in with Russian authorities on a fabricated case (as confirmed by European Court of Human Rights) when he was recuperating in Germany from poisoning and subsequent coma.

Russian authorities with its secret services tried to kill Alexei Navalny last August, they may now be attempting the same, in a slower, even more cynical way. 

Europe has offered Alexei Navalny a place to recover from the attempt at his life. Specialized labs in Germany, France and Sweden confirmed the assassination attempt used Novichok, an internationally banned chemical weapon. Angela Merkel personally met Mr Navalny in hospital and many other Western leaders expressed their solidarity after the poisoning attack. We need to intervene again. 

We urge Russia to immediately allow medical treatment of Alexei Navalny and release him from prison. We call on the EU Council as well as EU member states’ leaders to reach out to Russian authorities to request the immediate release of Alexei Navalny, which was mandated by European Court of Human Rights’ decision in February 2021. In addition, we demand the EU Council task EU ambassador to Russia to conduct, together partners from the UK, Canada and the US, a visit of the prison facility and meet Alexei Navalny. It is critical now that Alexei Navalny’s fate became the symbol of injustice many thousands face because of increasing brutality of Russian regime against its own citizens. 

In December 2020, the EU launched its Global Human Rights Sanction Regime modelled on so-called Magnitsky Act. This law has been inspired by one Sergei Magnitsky, a brave Russian lawyer who was tortured to death in prison in 2009 – he was systematically denied treatment when he developed a serious medical condition. We still can act now in case of Alexei Navalny so we avoid commemorating later.

Marek HILSER, Senator, Czech Republic

Andrius KUBILIUS, MEP, EPP, Lithuania

Lukas WAGENKNECHT, Senator, Czech Republic

Žygimantas PAVILIONIS, MP, Lithuania

Miroslav BALATKA, Senator, Czech Republic

André GATTOLIN, Senator, France

Mikulas BEK, Senator, Czech Republic 

Nicolae ŞTEFĂNUȚĂ, MEP, Renew, Romania

David SMOLJAK, Senator, Czech Republic 

Petras AUŠTREVIČIUS, MEP, Renew, Lithuania

Tomas FIALA, Senator, Czech Republic 

Liudas MAŽYLIS, MEP, EPP Lithuania

Zdenek NYTRA, Senator, Czech Republic 

Dace MELBĀRDE, MEP, ECR, Latvia

Jan SOBOTKA, Senator, Czech Republic 

Matas MALDEIKIS, MP, Lithuania

Jiri RUZICKA, Senator, Czech Republic 

Bernard GUETTA, MEP, Renew, France

Jaromira VITKOVA, Senator, Czech Republic 

Rasa JUKNEVIČIENĖ, MEP, EPP, Lithuania

Petr OREL, Senator, Czech Republic 

Tomasz FRANKOWSKI, MEP, EPP, Poland 

Miroslava NEMCOVA, Senator, Czech Republic

Hermann TERTSCH, MEP, ECR, Spain

Premysl RABAS, Senator, Czech Republic 

Aušra MALDEIKIENĖ, MEP, EPP, Lithuania

Ladislav KOS, Senator, Czech Republic 

Attila ARA-KOVÁCS, MEP, S&D, Hungary

Sarka JELINKOVA, Senator, Czech Republic

Erik MARQUARDT, MEP, Greens, Germany

Pavel FISCHER, Senator, Czech Republic

Pernille WEISS, MEP, EPP, Denmark

Helena LANGSADLOVA, MP, Czech Republic

Roberts ZĪLE, MEP, ECR, Latvia

Jan LIPAVSKY, MP, Czech Republic

Klemen GROŠELJ, MEP, Renew, Slovenia

Pavel ZACEK, MP, Czech Republic

Riho TERRAS, MEP, EPP, Estonia

Ondrej BENESIK, MP, Czech Republic 

Miriam LEXMANN, MEP, EPP, Slovakia

Frantisek KOPRIVA, MP, Czech Republic 

Sandra KALNIETE, MEP, EPP, Latvia

Petr GAZDIK, MP, Czech Republic 

Jerzy BUZEK, MEP, EPP, Poland

Tomas MARTINEK, MP, Czech Republic 

Janina OCHOJSKA, MEP, EPP, Poland

Jan BARTOSEK, MP, Czech Republic

Eugen TOMAC, MEP, EPP, Romania

Jan FARSKY, MP, Czech Republic

Ivan ŠTEFANEC, MEP, EPP, Slovakia

Roman SKLENAK, MP, Czech Republic

Krzysztof HETMAN, MEP, EPP, Poland

Frantisek VACHA, MP, Czech Republic

Ivars IJABS, MEP, Renew, Latvia

Marek VYBORNY, MP, Czech Republic

Franc BOGOVIČ, MEP, EPP, Slovenia

Zbynek STANJURA, MP, Czech Republic

Radvilė MORKŪNAITĖ-MIKULĖNIENĖ, MP, Lithuania

Petr FIALA, MP, Czech Republic

Raphaël GLUCKSMANN, MEP, S&D, France

Vít RAKUSAN, MP, Czech Republic

Juozas OLEKAS, MEP, S&D, Lithuania

Jaroslav VYMAZAL, MP, Czech Republic

Assita KANKO, MEP, ECR, Belgium

Adela SIPOVA, Senator, Czech Republic

Radosław SIKORSKI, MEP, EPP, Poland

Róża THUN UND HOHENSTEIN, MEP, EPP, Poland

Javier NART, MEP, Renew, Spain

Andrzej HALICKI, MEP, EPP, Poland

Alexander ALEXANDROV YORDANOV, MEP, EPP, Bulgaria

Ondřej KOVAŘÍK, MEP, Renew, Czech Republic

Andreas SCHIEDER, MEP, S&D, Austria

Leopoldo LÓPEZ GIL, MEP, EPP, Spain

Sergey LAGODINSKY, MEP, Greens, Germany

Antonio LÓPEZ-ISTÚRIZ WHITE, MEP, EPP, Spain

Marketa GREGOROVA, MEP, Greens, Czech Republic

Lolita ČIGĀNE, MP, Latvia

Marko MIHKELSON, MP, Estonia

Renata CHMELOVA, Czech Republic

Bogdan KLICH, Senator, Republic of Poland

Transatlantic Interparliamentary Statement on Unprecedented Mass Arrest of Russian Pro-Democracy Leaders on March 13, 2021

Mar 25 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 25, 2021

Contacts:
Honourable Irwin Cotler, PC, OC, OQ, Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights
+1 514.735.8778
Natalia Arno, Free Russia Foundation
+1 202.549.2417

TRANSATLANTIC INTERPARLIAMENTARY STATEMENT
On unprecedented mass arrest of Russian pro-democracy leaders on March 13, 2021

“We, the undersigned members of the foreign affairs committees of legislatures around the world – the duly elected democratic voices of our constituents and countries – unreservedly condemn the unprecedented mass arrest of Russian pro-democracy leaders. 

A violation of the Russian constitution and of the country’s international legal obligations, these unjust and arbitrary arrests are an assault on the last bastion of the Russian democratic movement. United in common cause, we call for an end to Putin’s punitive persecution and prosecutions of Russian civil society leaders, the release of all political prisoners, and the imposition of targeted Magnitsky sanctions against Russia’s architects of repression.

The crimes perpetrated by Putin’s regime against the Russian people and against the international community have been deadly and are well-documented. Left unchecked, its internal repression has often morphed into external aggression. Wars, murders, theft, embezzlement, nuclear blackmail, disinformation, election interference — they are so numerous and now so well-known, that we feel no need to enumerate all of them in this letter. Under the cover of Covid restrictions, we have seen a further intensification of these trends.

Last year, Putin’s regime illegally amended the Russian constitution, executing a constitutional coup, allowing Putin to stay in power indefinitely and thereby formalizing the Russian transition to authoritarianism. 

In January, he arrested Aleksey Navalny, who was punished with a nearly three-year prison term for not meeting his parole obligations because he was out of the country convalescing from a state-sponsored assassination attempt. Putin then brutally suppressed the nation-wide protests that emerged in Navalny’s support, arbitrarily arresting thousands, and launching criminal prosecutions against them.

On March 13th, security services entered a perfectly lawful Congress of elected municipal deputies and detained nearly 200 people for not adhering to the Kremlin’s command of how to interact with local constituents. In today’s Russia, disagreeing with Putin is not tolerated, and those who do find themselves in jail or worse.

Some of those detained included elected leaders like Ilya Yashin and Maxim Reznik, pro-democracy reformers Andrey Pivovarov and Anastasia Burakova, and popular politician Vladimir Kara-Murza. Mr. Kara-Murza is a top public intellectual and opposition leader whose transformative work on behalf of the Russian people has had a global resonance. His vision and values – eloquently conveyed with a uniquely compelling moral clarity and commitment, often before our respective legislatures – led to his earlier being targeted by the regime for assassination, attempts on his life that he survived twice. The work of such courageous leaders continues to be a source of inspiration in our pursuit of collective peace, security, and dignity for all.

For a society to succeed it must have a set of principles and values that guides it. Most notably, this includes a legal system that honors the rights of all its people and not solely for those who deem themselves leaders and the sycophants who profit from them.

Sadly, these recent developments demonstrate yet again that only Putin’s criminality and impunity prevail in Russia today. The way the regime runs its politics is indistinguishable from the way it runs its foreign policy and its business dealings. To indulge such malign behavior by the Kremlin toward those it disagrees with is to encourage its corrosive behavior in all these other areas.

The democracies of the world have a choice: maintain a normal relationship with a rogue state, continuing to send the message that its treatment of its own citizens is to be overlooked, and its malicious activities are to be condoned. Or, sending a clear and compelling message: that until the Kremlin reverses its troubling trajectory, the current status quo will be unacceptable. This includes targeted sanctions against Putin and his corrupt and criminal cronies – such as canceling access to our banking system, business ties, and safe harbor in our best neighborhoods and schools – ensuring that they cannot enjoy the liberties in our countries that they deny their compatriots in theirs. 

For the sake of a free Russia and a free world, we trust democracies will make the right choice.”

Rasa Jukneviciene, Member of the European Parliament

Andrius Kubilius, Member of the European Parliament

Miriam Lexmann, Member of the European Parliament

Pavel Fischer, Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security of the Senate of the Czech Republic

Marko Mihkelson, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Estonia

Richards Kols, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Seimas of the Republic of Latvia

Žygimantas Pavilions, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania

Bogdan Klich, Senator, Chairman of the Foreign and European Union Committee of the Senate of the Republic of Poland

Eerik Niiles Kross, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Estonia

Emanuelis Zingeris, Member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania

Benjamin L. Cardin, Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation; Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission)

Bill Keating, Member of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Relations and Chair of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment

Brian Fitzpatrick, Member of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Relations

Kimberley Kitching, Senator, Chair of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee, Deputy Chair of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, Parliament of Australia

Chris Bryant, Member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the UK Parliament

Bob Seely, Member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the UK Parliament

Free Russia Foundation Calls for Urgent and Concrete Steps to Stop Putin’s Global Assassination Campaigns

Feb 11 2021

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a prominent Russian pro-democracy advocate, was closely tracked by an FSB assassination squad when he suffered perplexing and near-fatal medical emergencies that sent him into coma in 2015 and 2017, establishes a new investigation by the Bellingcat group

Documents uncovered by Bellingcat show that this is the same assassination squad implicated in the August 2020 assassination attempt on Alexey Navalny and whose member has inadvertently confirmed the operation in a phone call with Navalny.   

Bellingcat has also established the FSB unit’s involvement in the murder of three Russian activists, all of whom died under unusual but similar circumstances. 

Taken together, these independent nongovernment investigations establish the fact of systemic, large-scale extrajudicial assassinations carried out by Putin’s government against its critics inside and outside of Russia, including with chemical weapons banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention. 

Free Russia Foundation calls on the international community to formally investigate and prosecute Putin’s government for these crimes. 

Free Russia Foundation calls on the Biden Administration to direct the FBI to release investigation materials surrounding the assassination attempts against Vladimir Kara-Murza that have been denied to him thus far. 

Free Russia Foundation calls on the international community to articulate measures to compel Russia to free Alexey Navalny from his illegal incarceration where his life remains in dire danger. 

Free Russia Foundation condemns in strongest terms today’s court sentence announced to Alexey Navalny

Feb 02 2021

Continued detention of Navalny is illegal and he must be freed immediately. Suppression of peaceful protests and mass arrests of Russian citizens must stop, and the Kremlin must release all those illegally detained and imprisoned on political motives. Free Russia Foundation calls on the international community, the US and European leadership, to move beyond expressions of concern and articulate a set of meaningful instruments to compel the Kremlin to stop its atrocities.