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Prisoners and war. What happens inside Russian and Ukrainian prisons while the whole world is not watching [ABC Belarus]

Data correct as of September 2022

The war in Ukraine has kept everyone’s attention for over eight months now. Many were horrified by the atrocities that accompany war efforts and are ongoing. We see dead soldiers, tortured civilians, sad faces of those who found their relatives killed and happy cries of locals on de-occupied territories. However, not much is known about one of the most marginalised and invisible groups of the population – the prisoners. This text will give you an overview of how prisoners are treated and used in war by both the Ukrainian and Russian state. We are not going to cover the topic of war prisoners (soldiers who were captured by the enemy and placed in special prison) as their conditions of imprisonment and prospects of release depends in many ways on diplomatic relations.

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Statement of the ABC Belarus on the war in Ukraine

A full-scale war in Ukraine has been going on for over three months now. The anarchist movement has responded to the Russian invasion in different ways during these three months – some have begun unconditionally supporting their comrades in Ukraine, while others continue to repeat the story of NATO aggression in the region. We also felt it necessary to make a statement about our view of events.

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ABC Belarus: No one will be left alone

It’s been almost two years since the 2020 protests in Belarus. The anarchist movement, just like the rest of activists and jounalists, has faced the biggest crackdown ever. Many activists had to leave the country, others got behind bars. ABC-Belarus continues its activity and needs support more than ever. At the moment, there are about 30 imprisoned anarchists and antifascists in Belarus and the number keeps growing.

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Anarchists convicted in “Pramen case” [Belarus]

Belarus. On April 22 the verdict was pronounced in the so-called “Pramen case”. Aliaksandr Bialou, Jauhen Rubashka, Artsiom Salavei were sentenced to 5 years in prison, another Artsiom Salavei – to 4.5 years. The gravamen is unknown, since the trial was held in camera.

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Interview: Anarchist prisoner Zhenya Rubashko about detention, being under arrest, and his fighting spirit [Belarus]

Belarus. On Friday 22 April this year anarchist comrade Evgeniy Rubashko along with 3 other anarchist comrades was sentenced to 5 years of penal colony for participating in protests in 2020 and being part of Pramen anarchist collective. This interview was taken before sentencing in January 2022, where we tried to talk to him about his political views and the situation in prison.

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News from Belarusian prisons, March 2022 [ABC Belarus]

Belarus. In the beginning of March Anastasiya Kukhta faced criminal prosecution. Initially she had been detained on 17 February on administrative charges, her apartment had been searched and she had been sentenced to 15 days of arrest. On 4 March, she became a suspect in a criminal case, and on 12 March she was charged with organisation of action grossly violating the public order (article 342.1 of the Criminal Code). She remains in custody in SIZO-1 in Minsk.

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Antifascists persecuted in Mozyr, Belarus

Belarus. On 22 March, a dozen of local antifascists and DIY band members were arrested in Mozyr following searches in their homes. As a result, two women were detained under criminal charges – Kristina Cherenkova (inciting hatred to cops for a few Instagram posts and comments) and Anna Pyshnik (assistance in extremist activity for sending a video recording to the NEXTA Telegram channel that had been recognised as an extremist formation). They are kept in a pre-trial detention facility.

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The case of anarchist Alexander Zaitsev [Belarus]

Belarus. In December, we received information that Aleksandr Zaitsev, who declared his commitment to the anarchist movement, was in pre-trial detention in Volodarka. It took us quite a while to verify this man’s story and get to the bottom of it.

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