Another Bolotnaya Protester Amnestied

January 13, 2014
Anastasia Rybachenko

A criminal case against opposition activist Anastasia Rybachenko who left for Estonia when faced with charges under the “Bolotnaya Case,” has been dropped. Rybachenko told about that on Friday on her page in Facebook.

“As soon as we make sure that I’m no longer in international and federal databases as a person on a wanted list, I will be back, as I promised,” wrote Rybachenko later.

After the opposition rally on May 6, 2012 in Moscow, that ended in clashes between demonstrators and the riot police, police searched Rybachenko’s apartment, which prompted her to seek asylum in Germany. Later, she changed her mind and went to study at the Tallinn University of Technology. In the fall of 2012 she was arrested in absentia and put on the international wanted list.

The activist submitted her amnesty petition through her attorney, Vladimir Samokhin. Thus, Rybachenko is the sixth participant of the “Bolotnaya Case” released under the amnesty in connection with the 20th anniversary of the Constitution.

Previously released from criminal prosecution were Maria Baronova, Nikolai Kavkazsky, Leonid Kovyazin, Vladimir Akimenkov and Dmitry Rukavishnikov. All of them were accused of inciting and participating in mass riots. Those charged under these articles of the Criminal Code fall under amnesty.

Initially there were 28 defendants under the “Bolotnaya Case”. Three of them have already been convicted: Michael Lousyanin was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for taking part in the riots and violence against a policeman, Konstantin Lebedev got two and a half years for organizing riots, and Mikhail Kosenko who suffers from a mental disorder, was institutionalized for compulsory treatment.

There are eight defendants remaining: Andrey Barabanov, Stepan Zimin, Denis Lutskevich, Yaroslav Belousov, Artyom Savelov, Sergei Krivov, Alexandra Dukhanina, and Alexei Polihovich. With respect to several other defendants, including the leader of the “Left Front”, Sergei Udaltsov, the case is still under investigation.

Included in the amnesty on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Constitution are those who have been convicted or are under investigation under the high profile criminal cases. In particular, all the members of the Arctic Sunrise crew and the participants of Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina have been released.