31 October 2023
Feliks Eliseev, an anti-fascist activist from Lipetsk, is charged with justification of terrorism and treason
Source: Political Prisoners. Memorial
The human rights project ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial’, in accordance with international standards, considers Feliks Eliseev a political prisoner. He has been charged with justifying terrorism for publications on Telegram and with treason for making donations to the Ukrainian armed forces. Eliseev’s prosecution violates his rights to freedom of expression and fair trial.
We demand the release of Feliks Eliseev and that all criminal charges against him be dropped.
What are the charges against Eliseev?
Anti-fascist activist Feliks Eliseev was detained in December 2022 for a post criticising Russia’s war against Ukraine, which allegedly he published on his Telegram channel ‘Kalkhoznoe Madness’. A criminal case was opened against him for the public justification of terrorism (Article 205.2, Part 2, of the Russian Criminal Code) and he was remanded in custody.
On 28 April 2023, a second criminal case under the same article of the Russian Criminal Code was opened against Eliseev for another publication on Telegram. According to media reports, the Telegram post said: ‘Well done, the Ukrainians, they *** [struck] the oil depot in Belgorod, it’s a pity it wasn’t Moscow. It’s good to hit the aggressor on his own territory, it brings to mind the bombing of Berlin by Soviet aircraft in August 1941.’
After several months on remand, Eliseev wrote to friends that a new criminal case was being prepared against him. And indeed, on 28 April 2023 the Lipetsk FSB reported that ‘a sponsor of militants had been detained’ and published a video in which Eliseev was seen ‘confessing’ to having transferred money to the Ukrainian armed forces in February 2022. He was charged with treason (Article 275 of the Russian Criminal Code) and if convicted faces life imprisonment.
Why do we consider Eliseev a political prisoner?
Article 205.2 of the Russian Criminal Code is widely used by the Russian authorities as a tool of repression against dissidents, including those opposed to the war with Ukraine.
We consider that the statements imputed to Eliseev contain no justification of terrorism. The Belgorod oil depot which was attacked by the Ukrainian military was a legitimate military target in repelling the armed attack by the aggressor state. Eliseev is commenting on military actions, not terrorist attacks, and in this way expressing his disagreement with Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine.
In our view, Eliseev’s ‘confession’ to financing the Ukrainian armed forces may have been obtained under pressure. In his letters, he wrote about the harsh conditions of detention in the remand prison and warned that a new criminal prosecution was being prepared against him.
At the same time, if Eliseev did transfer funds to the Ukrainian armed forces, his actions did not harm the security of the Russian state. Damage to the country’s security has been caused by the Russian authorities, who unleashed a war of aggression against Ukraine.
A detailed description of the case of Feliks Eliseev and the position of the Human Rights Project are set out on our website.
Recognition of an individual as a political prisoner does not imply the project, ‘Political Prisoners. Memorial,’ agrees with, or approves of, their views, statements, or actions.
How can you help?
You can write to Feliks Eliseev at the following address:
In Russian: 398007, г. Липецк, ул. Ковалёва, влд. 138, ФКУ СИЗО-1 УФСИН России по Липецкой области, Елисееву Феликсу Викторовичу 1988 г. р.
In English: Feliks Viktorovich Eliseev (born 1988), Remand Prison No. 1, Russian Federal Penitentiary Service for Lipetsk region, 138 Kovalev Street, Lipetsk, 398007, Russia.
You can also send an electronic letter via the Zonatelekom service.
Information about making donations to support all political prisoners can be found on our website.
Translated by Rights in Russia