“The man saved his freedom. Fleeing Fascist Law” Aleksey Moskalev was detained in Minsk. Meduza tried to find out what happened from Dmitry Zakhvatov, a lawyer who was in contact with him during the escape

Alexei Moskalev

On the night of March 30 in Minsk held Alexei Moskalev, a resident of the Tula region, who fled on the eve of the verdict in the case of the repeated “discrediting” of the Russian army. The court declared Moskalev guilty and decided to send him to a colony for two years; his daughter Masha ended up in an orphanage. About the detention of Moskalev first reported independent media, later information confirmed Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus. Where Alex is now is still unknown. Meduza spoke with lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov, who was in contact with Moskalev during his escape, and tried to find out how the special services were able to detain him (and whether it is even possible to escape from the prison). modern Russia).

– Alexey Moskalev contacted you himself? Why?

I cannot share this information.

– You writingthat he gave you a letter from his daughter Masha.

Yes, he sent me a letter. But I can’t speak to how he did it.

– Did Alexei have a relationship with his daughter at that time?

– I don’t know.

How did you react to the news of his escape? In your opinion, is this the right decision?

The man kept his freedom. Freedom is always better than lack of freedom. The man has saved himself from the actions of fascist law, which is not a right. It is his choice and must be respected.

— Can you tell us exactly how Aleksey escaped from house arrest and how he ended up in Minsk?

– I don’t know in all the details, and if I knew, I wouldn’t say.

— Can you specify why it is impossible to talk about it?

— On February 24, 2022, we all woke up in [стране с] fascist dictatorship finalized. In March 2022, the Criminal Code was introduced a number that are inherently fascist. They were adopted specifically for the purpose of punishing people for an absolutely acceptable and correct opinion.

For residents of the Russian Federation, this means the following: they may find themselves in situations where they will be voluntarily or involuntarily persecuted by the state. A person can say something not even in public, but during a phone call, because it was already deed former police officer Sergei Vedel (Klokov). Or he can say something “anti-Soviet” in the kitchen, celebrating a birthday. Sometimes in these situations, the only way to save your freedom is to run away.

There will be even more people persecuted by the authorities for expressing an opinion. And the more information we give on how fugitives should be sought, the less likely they are to succeed.

– Returning to Masha’s letter. You writingthat it was Alexei who had asked him to publish it. Have you discussed the best time to do this? That it is perhaps worth keeping the publication until the time when Alexei himself is safe? And not draw even more attention to the situation?

— An enormous amount of attention has been drawn to this matter even without a letter. For what reason it was released at this particular time, I will not say. How did or didn’t that affect his arrest? [в Минске]I can not tell. We will probably find out later.

– The escape of Alexei Moskalev commented former Channel One employee. Do you think this should have been done?

– Marina Ovsyannikova said absolutely nothing. First she said she ran away [сама] – it is public information, since she is not in prison, but in Paris. The second thing she said was that some of the people who were involved in the story with Moskalev were also involved in his escape. Can we get anything useful from this information? I do not think so.

— I don’t know, I’m not an employee of the Belarusian FSB or KGB.

– Imagine that you are an employee and try to get something useful from this information. And you will have understood it, you can link it in such a way that it leads to the capture of Moskalev.

– I would immediately associate this with you, because Ovsyannikova said that you, among other things, helped her to escape. And you – with Pussy Riot and history escape Maria Alekhina. And that would allow me to understand where to look for Alexei Moskalev.

– I was not with Alexei Moskalev. It is common knowledge that he fled. It is also well known that Masha Alyokhina is outside the Russian Federation, with [еще одной участницей Pussy Riot] Lucy Stein. It is well known that Marina Ovsyannikova is also outside the Russian Federation. How can this be connected? In a way, they all fled politically motivated persecution. No more.

— Yes, but we know, for example, that Maria Alyokhina left Russia via Belarus.

– Belarus is big. Try to find a person even in a tall and long building, if you don’t know exactly where to look for them. Research is carried out exclusively through the analysis of cellular data and geolocation, as well as traffic tracking systems. Most likely, that’s exactly what happened in the Alexei case, but we’ll most likely find out the details later.

– How did you know that Moskalev was detained?

I cannot divulge this information.

– You still don’t know where Alexei is?

– No.

– You describe in his telegram channel, there are several options for what will happen next with Alexei: starting with the fact that his sentence can be reviewed, and his daughter sent back for “repentance”, and up to the fact that he to something else”. Which do you think is most likely?

– It depends on the people who comment on this situation. If they can find the strength to stop blaming themselves – and get to work. That is, they will begin to comment on the situation in the context that it is an outrage and anarchy on the part of the Belarusian and Russian authorities. That this does not even violate the law, but the most basic standards of public morality, including the “family values” proclaimed by the authorities themselves. So maybe the outcome of the case will be a little better than if the endless labeling and swearing continues about who and what said something wrong.

– Do you have any complaints about this?

– At your address – no. I saw claims against Marina Ovsyannikova. Again [звучали] to accuse him of having links with the special services is nonsense. A man was granted asylum in the territory of a European country, knowing his history, how his family was persecuted. But with all this, completely stupid accusations ring out again.

In the special KGB propaganda manual it is called the “rotten herring method” – this is when completely crazy accusations are hung on a person and they are so crazy that the person is saturated with the smell of these charges, the smell of “rotten herring”.

– What will happen to Alexei Moskalev now? Will the breakout affect his position?

– From the point of view of the law, the escape from house arrest can lead to a modification of the coercive measure in the direction, that is to say detention.

– After Moskalev’s escape, there were quite a few publications with stories of people who fled Russia at different times. What do you think about it?

– My opinion: disclosing details is very bad. Pay attention to how the same Marina Ovsyannikova behaves when talking about this situation. It gives no information. She said, “I fled through the forest fields. In what direction, on what road, what did she change into, what wigs was she wearing, what costume was her daughter wearing, what means of communication did they use, who exactly took them out, in what cars, in what country – she said nothing. She keeps quiet and does the right thing. And those who say that are doing civil society a disservice.

– Is it still possible to help a person who, for example, is persecuted for political reasons, to flee Russia?

– I admit that it is possible.

– You helped Marina Ovsyannikova to escape. Do you think that’s good for a lawyer?

— I am guided by the following principle. Can you save a man and his children from humiliation, separation from his family, possible death in prison due to abuse in seemingly politically motivated persecution, as was the case with Marina? Do it no matter what, and God help you with it. And come what may.

I repeat once again: Fascist law is not the law. A law which contains direct and undisguised discrimination on the basis of a citizen’s attitude towards aggressive, predatory and illegal war, recognized as such by a United Nations resolution, is not a right. It is legally null and void: its application from the point of view of law should not entail any legal consequences, except rehabilitation, reparation of damages for unlawful criminal prosecution in the national jurisdiction.

In international jurisdiction, the application of such a law to a citizen by the authorities of the Russian Federation gives him the right to approach another country with a request for political asylum in accordance with Geneva Convention on the status of refugees in 1951. It is on the one hand.

On the other hand, if the “courts” and “investigating authorities” of the Russian Federation believe that it is possible for them to apply these laws in practice, then they should re-read, in particular, the principle VI.

– Will you somehow help Alexei Moskalev now? Can we do something?

“This is the most horrific, outrageous and wicked story in recent memory. An incredible disgrace to all who were the organizer and accomplice in the persecution of Alexei and his daughter. I will follow very closely the fate of Alexei. It will be clear in the process, I can or cannot help him with something.

Interviewed Kristina Safonova

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