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Activist Handed 4-Year Prison Term in Warsaw Case

Published: February 12, 2014 (Issue # 1797)



  • Lyovkins lawyer, Gleb Lavrentyev, and his mother, Olga Lyovkina, with pictures of Lyovkin at Mondays news conference.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

Denis Lyovkin, a 20-year-old activist held for more than one year in the so-called Warsaw Case, was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday by Judge Irina Eizhvertina for assaulting two police officers at a protest. On Feb. 4, the state prosecutor asked that Lyovkin be sentenced to 4 1/2 years behind bars.

Lyovkin took part in an attempt to save a historic warehouse belonging to the now-defunct Warsaw Railway Station from demolition on Feb. 4, 2013, which is believed to be St. Petersburgs first protest to result in criminal charges being brought.

The defense claimed that the indictment against Lyovkin is based purely on false evidence given by police officers.

Related: Railway Station Probe Continues to Unfold

The officers were allegedly injured when the police stormed the warehouse.

According to witnesses, police acted with force, knocking down and beating the protesters. At a police station, Lyovkin was singled out of the 22 detained activists and charged with assaulting the policemen, before being transferred to the Kresty prison. The remaining activists were charged with holding an illegal rally and disobeying police orders.

Testimony against Lyovkin was given by six police officers including the Admiralteisky District police chief Grigory Klebanov.

Related: Police Evict Warehouse Squatters in Violent Clashes

Thats when much became clear to me. I understood that the investigation was over before it had even started, Olga Lyovkina, the activists mother, told a news conference on Monday.

The testimony by the police took away any hope for a fair and competent investigation. Lyovkina said she had collected photographs to prove Lyovkins innocence herself, but they were completely ignored by the investigators.

I understood the reason, she said.Its elementary; if they admit the obvious that Denis is not guilty the testimony by the police officers headed by the Admiralteisky District police chief automatically become perjury, something that the system, that the investigators, could not let happen. The system short-circuited. Even the victims themselves are not interested in who assaulted them in reality. I did not expect that it would be so absurd.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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