6 May 2022
A letter from the pre-trial detention centre by Aleksei Gorinov, a deputy on the local council of Moscow’s Krasnoselsky district, who was arrested for anti-war statements under the law on ‘fakes.’
Friends! Thank you all for your support! I am writing to you from Temporary Detention Facility No. 1 of the Moscow police department. My father returned from World War II disabled. As a child, I met many participants in that war without arms, without legs, blind. I grew up amongst them.
War itself as a phenomenon, no matter what beautiful synonyms we use for it, is the last, dirtiest thing, unworthy of human beings. In war, dehumanisation occurs most rapidly; the line between good and evil is blurred.
I don’t accept it and reject it.
Now I’m being put on trial for stating my opinion. During the days of the August coup in 1991, I, a deputy at that time as well, was with the defenders of the White House – the home of the Republic’s Supreme Soviet. Then we defended, along with other rights, our right to think and speak freely.
If I had been told then that in 30 years I would be tried in a criminal court for my words, for my opinion, I would not have believed it. This is the sad outcome to which our society has come.
People with whom I have had the chance to talk in the temporary detention centre, in transit premises and police vans and who have been charged with quite serious crimes, are surprised and do not believe that in Russia, for speaking out against the war, you can get up to ten years.
My fellow citizens are deprived of the opportunity to at least freely discuss what is happening under the name ‘special military operation.’ A dozen criminal cases against those who have tried to do this have already been initiated and are awaiting the outcomes of their trials.
It is clear that today the state of our civil society is such that we cannot prevent what is happening. But let’s at least remain human in ourselves, so that we won’t feel shame in front of future generations of citizens of Russia, which, I believe, will be a free and democratic country.
Glory to those who take to the streets of cities to protest against the war. You are saving the honour of Russia!!!
Translated by Ecaterina Hughes