In support of Andrei Pivovarov

August 10, 2015

In support of Andrei Pivovarov

Below is a translation of a letter published on August 10 by Echo of Moscow. Read the original letter here.

On 27 July 2015 the co-founder of the Petersburg branch of the «PARNAS» party and head of the «PARNAS» election headquarters in Kostroma Oblast, Andrei Pivovarov, was detained in one of Kostroma’s police stations.

​Not having any evidence, the investigators fabricated a criminal case against Andrei Pivovarov literally on the back of a napkin, charging him with violating article 272 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.  According to this article, the fact of the commission of a crime occurs only in the event that some kind of effects have come about.  In the given situation, one of the following events was supposed to have taken place:  blocking, destruction, copying, or modification of data.  There were neither these effects nor intent for them to occur, meaning that there is no crime either.  In having fabricated the criminal case, the investigators disregarded the instructions of the General Prosecutor’s Office, according to which a case may not be initiated without the results of an expert examination.  There has been no expert examination as of yet.

​We are convinced that Andrei Pivovarov had not crossed the line of the criminal law.  The task he was faced with was to submit ideal actual signatures, achieve participation in the elections for the “Democratic Coalition,” and minimize the damage from bad-faith signature-gatherers.  On 27 July, he came to the police station in order to confirm or deny his doubts – to find out whether or not suspicious volunteers were presenting authentic signatures to election headquarters.  Andrei went together with a policeman into his office and there was detained by operative workers.  Neither we nor the country’s leading jurists can discern any violation of the Criminal Code in Andrei Pivovarov’s actions and intentions.

​Later we became witnesses of the court that arrested Andrei Pivovarov for two months, ignoring all the arguments and proposals made by the politician’s defense.  However, it did agree with the deceitful character reference for Pivovarov, put together in a rush by a neighborhood police agent in Petersburg.  In particular, in the best traditions of Soviet-era denunciations, it is asserted in the document that the registered «RPR-PARNAS» party, which has representation in legislative and municipal bodies of power, is a «radical movement», while graduate of the prestigious SPbGU [St. Petersburg State University] economics faculty Andrei Pivovarov, in the words of police major M.V. Kocherina, is a person «dysfunctional in everyday life».

​The entire criminal case against Andrei Pivovarov is built on lies and fear.  The Kostroma investigators had no scruples about breaking into the Petersburg apartment of Andrei Pivovarov’s invalid mother with the support of «SOBR» [Special Rapid Reaction Division] fighters.  Having intimidated the woman, the investigators rooted around in her personal things for three hours.

​Together with Andrei Pivovarov, also detained on 27 July, and arrested for two months on 29 July, was criminal investigation operative police captain Alexei Nikonorov, who had invited Pivovarov into his office.  At the first and only face-to-face interrogation, the policeman declared that he had slandered Andrei Pivovarov under threats from internal security division officers and does not consider him guilty of any crime.

​We consider the false criminal case in relation to Andrei Pivovarov to be politically motivated.

​We demand the immediate release of Andrei Pivovarov, because he has not committed any crime.


V. Yu. Andreichenko, ex vice-governor of Kostroma Oblast
A. S. Ametov, co-owner of the «Look At Media» publishing house
V. L. Ashurkov, economist, member of the Progress Party CC [Central Council]
S. A. Belkovsky, political columnist, political scientist
M. E. Vitorgan, actor
B. L. Vishnevsky, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg
V. N. Gorbunova, professor of the medical genetics department of SPGPM [Saint Petersburg State Pediatric Medical]
O. V. Galkina, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg
G. V. Gudkov, politician, deputy of the State Duma of the RF of the III, IV, and V convocations
D. G. Gudkov, deputy of the State Duma of the RF
I. F. Davydov, deputy editor-in-chief of the magazine «New Times»
M. Dadaian, senior scientist, Octapharma, Stockholm
A. Yu. Zheltov, doctor of philological sciences, professor at SPbGU [St. Petersburg State University], department supervisor at MAE RAN [Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography Russian Academy of Sciences]
M. M. Kasyanov, ex-chairman of the Government of Russia
V. A. Kara-Murza, journalist, television presenter, member of the Russian Academy of Television
O. V. Kashin, journalist, author
A. A. Kobrinsky, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg
I. N. Melnikova, doctor of physico-mathematical sciences, leading specialist at SPbGU [St. Petersburg State University]
V. S. Milov, leader of the «Democratic Choice» party, ex-deputy minister of energy of the Government of the RF
S. S. Mitrokhin, chairman of the «Yabloko» party, deputy of the State Duma of the RF of the I, II, and III convocations
S. Mkchtrian, doctor of medical sciences, assistant professor of the department of physiology and pharmacology of the Karolinska Institute
S. I. Nefyodov, Hero of Russia, honorary academician of the Russian Academy of Cosmonautics
E. M. Nemirovskaya, founder of the Moscow School of Political Studies
V. O. Notyag, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg
Z. F. Svetova, human rights advocate, member of the ONK [Public Monitoring Commission] of Moscow
Yu. P. Senokosov, founder of the Moscow School of Political Studies
M. L. Reznik, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg
V. V. Tsependa, deputy of the Yaroslavl Oblast Duma
P. V. Chikov, Chairman of the «AGORA» inter-regional association of human rights organizations
L. M. Shlosberg, deputy of the Pskov Oblast Assembly of Deputies
G. A. Yavlinsky, politician, leader of the «Yabloko» faction of the Legislative Assembly of Saint Petersburg, deputy of the State Duma of the I, II, and III convocations