Two months have passed since this call. I sat on the plane and listened to how to bring the backs of the seat upright and fasten the seat belts, we taxied to the runway, and seconds before the phone went into airplane mode, the bell rang. “Hey. There is such a thing. I was detained”.
Slava never paniced. The tone was more apologetic. When I, in despair, announced that I was taking off, he reassured me: “Well, it is ok, we’ll figure it out you when you arrive, call me.” On that day, he was admitted to the hospital with hypertension, was in cardio intensive care for several days (upon admission to the emergency room, police officers were on duty, checking whether his blood pressure was really overwhelming, or was simulating), so I had time to return to the trial.
This was an unusual administrative process. That is, the protocol is standard, seemingly similar to hundreds of other similar ones: “organized a rally without giving notice by posting an article on the Internet.” The difference was that in that very article with the pretentious title “Plan X” there was not a word about the rally. There was no information at all about any future public event, there was not even a mention that on July 7, 2018, anywhere, that could be called a rally. In general, there was not a word about July 7. It was a lengthy analytical text about the election of the governor of the Moscow region.
On July 7, 2018, at the Pervomaisky pedestrian crossing, in the place of past violent protests by local residents against the delivery of nonresident garbage to the Volovichi landfill, it was quiet, several people on duty gathered there, who counted how many cars would go to the landfill (this was the agreement of the initiative group with local authorities: not more than 25 cars per day). And these officers on duty saw how three strange, unknown to anyone young men, with a bottle of vodka, arrived at the place and began to ask how to stop the cars, then they began to throw themselves under the garbage trucks, and when they saw a police car, they went and got into it. Subsequently, a protocol of disobedience to police officers was drawn up for each of them, each was awarded a fine, and despite numerous cases of smoking in the wrong places, driving a car without the right to drive, and even past criminal cases, they were given lowest fine – 500 rubles each. And everyone wrote an explanation that they were forced into illegal actions by the article of Slava Yegorov “Plan X” (for more details about this episode, read the article by Dima Shvets).
This administrative case was the third episode in the criminal case, according to which judge Galina Makarova will announce the verdict in Kolomna today.
Slava was the first to whom the “Dadinskaya” article was charged after a two-year break from the Dadin case: he was sentenced to a real term, tortured in a colony, there was a terrible scandal. Then he was transferred to another colony, and then the Constitutional Court issued a lengthy and controversial Resolution 2-P of February 10, 2017, in which, not recognizing the norm as unconstitutional, he nevertheless demanded that the law enforcement officer must necessarily consider the issue of not only repeated violations of the established order holding public events, but also causing the accused to damage the health of property and public order, or creating a real threat of such damage.
Dadin was released. They apologized to him and paid compensation, although the formal reason for the termination of the case was not the absence of damage (which of course was not even in sight) and not the entry into force of one of the administrative offices. The optimists were encouraging: the Constitutional Court resolution put an insurmountable barrier on the way to the application of this repressive norm. Article 212.1 was confidently called “sleeping”. I must confess. I repeated after more experienced colleagues that “they will not go against the Constitutional Court”.
Of course we were wrong. They went. And to this day we have come quite a long way, and obviously they are not going to stop.
It is always difficult for first movers. There is no established practice, you have to do everything yourself. In October 2018, a court decision came into force recognizing Yegorov guilty under the episode with the article “Plan X”, and already on November 5, 2018, the senior operative Koshkin reports to the acting head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for the Kolomensky urban district that Yegorov already has three administrative cases on 20.2 of the Administrative Code, which means it’s time to initiate a criminal case.
“Based on the above, Yegorov’s actions contain signs of a crime under Art. 212.1 of the Criminal Code ”. – writes Koshkin. A week later, from the Main Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee for the Moscow Region, the Ministry of Internal Affairs received an answer: the material on Egorov “is being returned to remove obstacles to consideration”. The Investigative Committee indicates that criminal liability under 212.1 occurs after the commission of the fourth offense, and you have only three of them. It will not be enough. Work.
The local public life presented the reason for the fourth offense to the security forces pretty quickly: on December 13, 2018, the Gudkovs’ father and son were to be tried in the Kolomna court, also allegedly for organizing a rally, to which they were presented with a video recording with the participation of local residents. Dmitry Gudkov and Gennady Gudkov are famous people in Russia in general, and in Kolomna in particular, and it was obvious that people would come to their trial. Everybody wrote posts about the upcoming trial, including Yegorov.
However, when listeners began to come to the court on December 13, the bailiffs simply did not let them in: the hall chosen to consider the Gudkovs’ cases could accommodate, according to various sources, from 6 to 10 people, including the defendants and their defenders. But people were not allowed not only into the hall, they were not allowed into the courthouse, and they – about 40 people according to the police reports of that day, up to 70 according to the same police officers who later acted as witnesses at the trial in the Slava criminal case – remained standing in front of the entrance to the court, talking among themselves and awaiting a decision. The rest was a matter of technique: two strange young men, whom no one had seen either before or after, arrived at the court, stood between the people and several times loudly shouted “Freedom for the Gudkovs!” which gave the police a reason to consider it an unauthorized rally, and to detain: two shouting and…. that’s right, Slava Egorov. Those who shouted admitted their guilt and received – as you probably already guessed – a fine below the lower limit, and Slava received that desired fourth episode.
On the other hand, it is an honor to be the first one. The case against Slava on January 25, 2019 was initiated personally by the chief investigator of the Moscow Region. Yes, yes, the decision to prosecute a non-violent, non-group crime of average gravity for a previously unconvicted resident of a small town near Moscow was personally signed by the Lieutenant General. For the courage of subordinates probably.
On January 31, Slava was detained, at the same time, searches were carried out at 15 addresses in Kolomna at the most active defenders of the city from garbage (yes, you won’t surprise anyone with searches of witnesses, but for Kolomna in January 2019, it was still a bit of a shock: at 6 am, with the seizure all office equipment and telephones, with the going for explanations to the FSB and the summons for interrogation to the investigator in Moscow).
In the very first interrogation, Slava announced political persecution, told about the promises of the Kolomna police chief to put him on ‘treshechks’ and attached his interviews as evidence, where he talked about these threats even before any criminal case.
The case dragged on for a long time, the stormy activity of the investigation in the first days and weeks gave way to a months-long pause, at one time the case was even suspended, Slava served six months under house arrest, another six under the ban on certain actions, among which, of course, there was a ban on publishing anything in the Internet, then he was given a recognizance not to leave.
In March 2021, the case, which had long been dropped from the State Investigation Department in Kolomna, went to court, and was considered to be without the public and the press. And in the debate, the prosecutor asked for 3 years. Three years of real term in a general regime colony. The prosecutor read in all seriousness that the meetings of citizens near the court on December 13, 2018, that is, about 50 people standing on the pedestrian part of the road and talking to each other, was an unauthorized rally, which “lost its peaceful character.”
The verdict will be announced today at 14 o’clock.
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