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Petrozavodsk protester gets suspended sentence

Screenshot (3812)

Screenshot from video shows Yevgeny Vladenkov (right) intervening to try and stop police from detaining another protester

by Sarah Hurst

A protester who participated in the “Don’t Call Him Dimon” anti-corruption rally in Russia’s northwestern city of Petrozavodsk on March 26 has been given a one-year suspended sentence with two years of probation for allegedly injuring a policeman. 33-year-old Yevgeny Vladenkov, an insolvency practitioner, can be seen on a video of the event rushing to try and stop police from forcefully detaining another protester, and grabbing a policeman by the arm.

The rally in Petrozavodsk was one of many held all over Russia that day, including a big one in Moscow, where Alexei Navalny was detained and subsequently sentenced to 15 days in prison. Navalny organised the protests to demand answers from Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, the subject of his “Don’t Call Him Dimon” video, which exposed Medvedev’s alleged corruption. The video has had over 25 million views on YouTube.

“Disgrace!” 

Vladenkov was accused of hitting a policeman in the face at least three times, but this is not evident on the video. “I simply couldn’t have hit him because the whole video of them detaining me is online and it’s obvious to everyone that I didn’t hit anyone,” Vladenkov said, according to the website OVD-Info. Vladenkov was dragged away by several police officers after he intervened, prompting shouts of “Disgrace!” from the other assembled protesters. As the police officers lined up in front of their buses after shoving the detained protesters inside, the crowd shouted “Well done!” sarcastically.

In some ways Vladenkov can be considered one of the luckier protesters, as courts in Moscow have already sentenced several protesters to months or years behind bars for similar actions.

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