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Published in Stream:
Russia Update: May 12, 2015
Press by
The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
Russian Activists Who Picketed in Defense of Savchenko Sentenced to 5-15 Days in Jail
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Yesterday on the birthday of imprisoned Ukrainian pilot Nadiya (Nadezhda) Savchenko, 12 Russian activists were arrested for staging a picket with signs in her support and wishing her a happy birthday. In addition, three journalists were detained and released as we reported.

The Tverskoy District Court of Moscow sentenced Olga Terekhina to 15 days of jail, Novaya Gazeta reported. Judge Alesya Orekhova rejected an appeal from Terekhina's lawyer to postpone the proceeding until Terekhina could gather the birth certificates of all her children to make the case for leniency, reported.

Terekhina also pointed out that she had not held a poster or sparkler in her hand during the picket but had just shouted "Happy Birthday".

Five other activists were sentenced to 10 days for "repeated violation of the procedure for conducting public events."

Vera Lavreshina also was fined 15,000 rubles ($300).

Serge Shavshukov, a disabled man, was also ordered to pay a fine of 16,000 rubles ($320) for the action.

Other activists are still awaiting trial in Preobrazhensky District Court for the arrests yesterday as their hearing was postponed.

Philipp Kireev, a photocorrespondent who was among those detained, published photos from the event on his LiveJournal blog.



Photos by Philipp Kireev

Kireev also asked that the record be corrected on a number of points:

1. Despite a number of media and social media reports that he was beaten, he was not beaten during detention. He noted that police grabbed a camera from another journalist, Andrei Novichkov of, and apparently stepped on his foot.

2. He is a freelance journalist and not a photocorrespondent for Open Russia, which is only one of the outlets for which he has worked. (We have corrected this point in our earlier report which was taken from

3. Police erased all the memory cards on the cameras but he managed to keep some copies.

4. He does not wish to be ascribed as supporting any figure or action that he is just reporting on.

-- Catherine A. Fitzpatrick