Russian Activist Accused Of ‘Discrediting’ The Army Vanishes, Associates Say


On December 10, Russian activist and punk musician Aikhal Ammosov posted an Instagram photograph of himself calling for the discharge of a Yakut shaman being held in a psychiatric clinic after staging high-profile protests in opposition to President Vladimir Putin.

Ammosov, whose actual identify is Igor Ivanov, was set to seem in courtroom within the jap Siberian metropolis of Yakutsk three days later to face expenses of “discrediting” Russia’s navy — expenses that might end in a five-year jail sentence if he’s convicted.

However Ammosov, 30, didn’t make it to courtroom. And his mates and fellow activists say he has disappeared, though he had been getting ready to attend the December 13 listening to.

“Sure, he was going to courtroom,” Ammosov’s fellow activist, Kyundel Ottuev, instructed RFE/RL’s Siberia.Realities. “I requested him again within the fall if he needed to depart the nation; he refused. Many suggested him to run away; he at all times refused. He stated, ‘I am not a coward and can go to the tip.’ He wrote that he was not afraid of jail.”

Ammosov’s associates say they concern for his security and that shortly earlier than he went silent a day after his December 10 Instagram put up — his ultimate so far — he warned on social media that he may disappear.

“As for the [recent] threats to Aikhal, I do not know, actually,” Ottuyev instructed Siberia.Realities. “I’ve completely no thought the place he is perhaps…. Possibly they’ve killed him already or are holding him in a basement and torturing him.”

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Lots of of 1000’s of Russians are believed to have fled the nation since Putin launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February, due each to the more and more repressive political atmosphere and to keep away from conscription.

However Ottuyev stated Ammosov was unlikely to have fled the nation.

“He himself wrote on social media: ‘If I disappear, it means they killed me,'” Ottuyev stated.

RFE/RL was unable to find this alleged social media put up, although one other affiliate contacted by a reporter stated that they had seen a current Instagram Tales put up by Ammosov indicating that he may disappear. The affiliate stated they forgot to make a screenshot of the put up, which is now not out there.

‘Yakutian Punk In opposition to Warfare’

The December 13 courtroom listening to at which Ammosov was set to seem concerned the legal expenses following his arrest in August for allegedly trying to boost a banner in Yakutsk that learn: “Yakutian Punk In opposition to Warfare.”

Underneath a regulation signed by Putin shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he might resist three years in jail for “public actions” allegedly “geared toward discrediting” the Russian armed forces.

The chief of a punk group referred to as Crispy Newspaper, Ammosov has twice been beforehand convicted of “hooliganism” for anti-war graffiti.

In an interview with Siberia.Realities in Might, he stated that following his detention, he had been held in solitary confinement for 5 days and threatened with a taser and a gun.

“They tried to interrupt me, mentally,” he stated.

A rally against mobilization in Yakutia in September.

A rally in opposition to mobilization in Yakutia in September.

Ammosov instructed Siberia.Realities that he started stealthily finishing up his anti-war protests after Russia launched its invasion on February 24.

“I even stop my job…in an effort to battle in opposition to the battle full-time,” he stated. “They looked for me for 2 months, roughly. I used to be in hiding, staying somewhere else each evening.”

In his guerrilla protests of the battle, Ammosov has lit candles at a memorial commemorating Kyiv as a “hero metropolis” in World Warfare II to reveal solidarity with Ukraine and staged a picket with an indication exhibiting a coffin and a caption studying: “The groom has arrived.”

“The scary factor is that these circumstances in opposition to me are getting used to close up everybody who’s for peace,” Ammosov instructed Siberia.Realities in Might. “They catch folks like me, and everybody in Yakutsk turns into afraid. We’re too removed from Moscow and St. Petersburg. There isn’t a safety right here…. There are virtually no human rights defenders in any respect.”

Tailored from the Russian by RFE/RL’s Carl Schreck, who contributed reporting.

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