Believer EVGENY BESTUZHEV, OAC (St Petersburg, Russia)

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Evgeny Bestuzhev

Believer Evgeny Bestuzhev (b. 1960), parishioner of the Martyr Maria Skobtsova community of the Orthodox Apostolic Church in St. Petersburg, political scientist, publicist, former employee of the Higher School of Economics in St Petersburg, a former coordinator of “Democratic Russia”, and co-chair of the St. Petersburg branch of Solidarity.

Back in 2015, with a group of Orthodox Christians of St Petersburg, Bestuzhev recorded an anti-war video protesting against Russia’s then “hybrid” war in Ukraine.

Since the beginning of Russia’s full scale invasion, he published antiwar materials in his social media. On 15 September 2022, a criminal case was initiated against him under paragraph D of part 2 of article 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Public distribution of knowingly false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation based on hatred or enmity regarding any social group) for several of his posts on the VK social network. The details of the case were published by the human rights group “Memorial”.

The decision on the initiation of the case was made by the investigator of the Kalininsky district investigation department of the Main Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for St Petersburg, the senior lieutenant of justice A. Yanushko. Bestuzhev was detained on 9 November 2022. A search was conducted in his house; his computer was seized. On 10 November 2022, by a decision of the Kalininsky District Court of St. Petersburg judge Meshcheryakova, Bestuzhev was taken into custody until 15 December 2022. His detention has been periodically extended since then.