Statement regarding the arrest of Yevgeny Bestuzhev

Another opposition activist, Yevgeny Bestuzhev, a member of the Solidarity Democratic Movement and the Free Russia Forum, was arrested in St. Petersburg. He was presented with the notorious article of the Criminal Code on “discrediting the Russian army”, urgently adopted after the start of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. This article was directly aimed at prohibiting any expression of disagreement with the aggressive, predatory war unleashed by the Kremlin.

Putin’s dictatorship has consistently curtailed freedom of expression in Russia for many years. But today it is this relatively new article that has become the main tool for persecuting those who disagree with the criminal policy of the regime. In just a few months, more than a hundred criminal cases were initiated on it, and thousands of people were convicted under a similar “administrative” article.

We call on Russian citizens to resist the new totalitarian dictatorship in the forms that everyone deems possible. We call on representatives of the Russian intellectual elite to break with this power and dissociate themselves from it. We call on the world community to toughen sanctions against Putin’s Russia, to isolate it as much as possible. A country that has unleashed a war of conquest and throws into prison those who denounce this war is dangerous for the surrounding world and should not enjoy the benefits access to which is provided by the cooperation of civilized peoples.

Free Russia Forum

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