Write to Russia: Vyacheslav Malakhov, remanded in custody for criticising Putin for launching the war against Ukraine

Vyacheslav Malakhov was detained in Moscow on 31 January 2024 and on 2 February 2024 he was remanded in custody on charges of ‘repeated discrediting of the Russian army.’ Vyacheslav Malakhov is a poet, writer, musician, blogger, and one of the authors of ‘Pre-revolutionary Sovetchik,’ a popular page on the VK social media site. The charges against Malakhov are based on a post on his Telegram channel, published on 8 September 2023, addressed to Vladimir Putin in which Malakhov criticised him for launching the war against Ukraine, for the official policy of homophobia and for religious hypocrisy. Malakhov has consistently maintained his opposition to the war. Despite the risks, he decided to stay in Russia and continued to publish posts on social networks protesting against the war.

The investigative authorities considered Malakhov’s post to be ‘discrediting the Russian armed forces.’ Malakhov had previously been convicted of the administrative-law offence of  ‘discrediting the Russian armed forces (Article 20.3.3 of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences) for publications on the VK social media site. This made possible his criminal prosecution under Article 280.3, Part 1, of the Russian Criminal Code. He has been designated by Memorial as a political prisoner and considers the criminal case against him and the decision to remand him in custody as retribution by law enforcement authorities for his anti-war stance and his criticism of Putin.

Article 280.3 of the Russian Criminal Code was introduced as an instrument to suppress dissent after the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine. In practice, this law prohibits all criticism of the war or of the Russian authorities, which violates the right of citizens to freedom of expression, and contradicts fundamental principles of law, in particular, the principle of legal certainty. Article 280.3 of the Russian Criminal Code should be repealed, all related convictions quashed and ongoing prosecutions closed.

Political Prisoners. Memorial

Write to Russia: Write to Vyacheslav Malakhov

The Russian penal system does not allow any messages to prisoners that are written in foreign languages, but Write to Russia is here to help you. To write to Vyacheslav Malakhov to show your support for hIm, please send your letter as an email to us at: letters-to-prisoners@protonmail.com. We shall translate the letter into Russian for you and, depending on your request, either mail the translated letter on your behalf to Vyacheslav or return the letter to you by email for posting in an envelope with an address written in Russian. If we send the letter on your behalf, we ask that you compensate us for the cost of postage from the UK (currently £2.20 – $2.73; €2.52). To learn more about our letter writing project, click here: Write to Russia.

The address to write to Vyacheslav Malakhov is:

125130, г. Москва, ул. Выборгская, д. 20, ФКУ СИЗО-5 УФСИН России по г. Москве, Малахову Вячеславу Игоревичу 1985 г.р. 

If you would like to write to another person unjustly deprived of liberty in Russia, the project Write to Russia has so far highlighted the following cases:

  1. Sasha (Aleksandra) Skochilenko – imprisoned for peaceful anti-war protest – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-2/
  2. Mikhail Zhilin – imprisoned for refusing to fight against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-3/
  3. Aleksei Arbuzenko – imprisoned for protesting the war against Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-4/
  4. Aleksei Navalny – imprisoned for peaceful participation in electoral politics – died in custody – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-5/
  5. Evgeny Zinich- imprisoned for his faith – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-6/
  6. Alsu Kurmasheva – held on remand for her work as a journalist – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-7/
  7. Bakhrom Khamroev – imprisoned for his political and religious beliefs and human rights work – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-8
  8. Andrei Kapatsyna – imprisoned for his religious beliefs and refusing to fight in Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-9
  9. Gregory Vinter – imprisoned for speaking out about the killings in Bucha and Irpen – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-10
  10. Aleksei Gorinov – imprisoned for exercising his right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-11/
  11. Vladimir Kara-Murza – imprisoned for exercising his right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-12/
  12. Darya Poliudova – imprisoned for exercising her right to freedom of expression – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-13/
  13. Ilya Yashin – imprisoned for speaking out about Russian war crimes in Ukraine – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-14/
  14. Appaz Kurtamet – imprisoned on fabricated charges of ‘financing an illegal armed group’ by a Russian-controlled court in occupied Crimea – https://www.rightsinrussia.org/write-to-russia-15/

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