Full name:
Zavadsky Maxim



Professional field/official position/biography:

Investigator of the Petrozavodsk city department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation.

Accused of:

Carrying out political repression using his official position.

Investigator Maksim Zavadsky carried out an investigation into the second fabricated criminal case against the head of the Karelian branch of the Memorial society Yuri Dmitriev.

Yuri Dmitriev, a Karelian historian and human rights activist and head of the local branch of the Memorial Society, devoted his life to researching the burial sites of victims of mass repressions of the 1930s-1940s of the last century. The largest find of Dmitriev is the Sandarmokh, the place where 9 thousand prisoners from Solovki and Belomorkanal camps were shot. Dmitriev found the names of these people in the FSB archives, compiled lists, and began distributing them to everyone interested in the fate of their loved ones. Sandarmokh turned into a national memorial, and mass mourning events at this place began to irritate the local authorities and Russian special services, which publicly declare themselves to be the heirs of Stalin's notorious NKVD.

In 2017, Dmitriev was charged with making pornographic materials with his adopted eight-year-old daughter and lecherous acts. However, the examination confirmed that Dmitriev really used his daughter's pictures to monitor the child's health. On April 5, 2018, the Petrozavodsk City Court acquitted the historian on these two counts. Then Dmitriev was sentenced to two and a half years of restriction of freedom under Article 222 of the Criminal Code (illegal possession of weapons): during an examination of the apartment in December 2016, fragments of a hunting weapon were seized from him.

Yuri Dmitriev was re-arrested a few weeks after his acquittal. According to the attorney, the accusation was based on conversations between the girl's grandmother, a psychologist, and an investigator, with Dmitriev’s adopted daughter. Dmitriev’s lawyer reported that the request for arrest was based on one phrase of the historian's adopted daughter Natalya, which was obtained from the teenager under the pressure after the investigator Zavadsky and the psychologist had a conversation with her. On July 22, 2020, at a repeated trial, Dmitriev was found guilty under the article on violent acts of a sexual nature against his underage adopted daughter (paragraph “b”, part 4 of article 132 of the Criminal Code). He was acquitted under the articles on lecherous acts (part 3 of Art. 135 of the Criminal Code), on the production of pornography (Art. 242.2 of the Criminal Code), and on the possession of weapons (part 1 of Art. 222 of the Criminal Code). He was sentenced to three years in prison, but given that he had served in a pre-trial detention center, Dmitriev could have been released in November. All the trials were behind closed doors, and Dmitriev denied his guilt.

Complaints of the defense and charges against the verdict of the historian have been considered in the Supreme Court of Karelia since September 16. The prosecution asked to increase the sentence to 13 years in a maximum-security colony. Dmitriev's lawyer Viktor Anufriev was isolated due to illness, but the court refused to postpone the hearing until his recovery and appointed another defender to the historian. On the eve of the session of the Supreme Court, a group of 250 scientists, art workers, journalists, and priests appealed to the Chairman of the Armed Forces of Karelia with a request to postpone the consideration of the case to any other court, noting the decisions of Judge Alla Rats, which the public activists associated with possible pressure on her.

On September 29, 2020, the Supreme Court of Karelia, represented by Judge Alla Vyacheslavovna Rats, considered the appeal against the verdict of the historian Yuri Dmitriev in the case of sexual violence and satisfied the prosecution's complaint, increasing his term from 3.5 to 13 years in a maximum-security colony. This case was recognized as politically motivated by Russian and international independent organizations, media, and public figures, and Yuri Dmitriev himself was recognized as a political prisoner.

Testimony of a member of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg Boris Vishnevsky:

“Of the three options for the decision on the Yuri Dmitriev case, to leave in force, to mitigate the sentence, to toughen the sentence, the judge of the Supreme Court of Karelia Alla Vyacheslavovna Rats (remember this name, friends) chose the most monstrous one. The verdict was toughened by almost another 10 years in prison. Instead of the initial (illegal and unfair, but at the end of November Dmitriev would have been released) 3.5 years in prison, 13 years. As the prosecutor asked. Dmitriev was deprived of legal aid from the lawyer of his choice who had defended him for four years and is now ill, who asked to postpone the trial. But the court refused in cold blood. I can’t remember anything like that - for the second judicial instance to add such a huge prison term to the decision of the first one. This means that all possible political and administrative levers were used to take revenge on Yuri Alekseevich.”

Links and materials

Unusual, even for Russia Historian Yuri Dmitriev was set to go free in November. Then a court added 9.5 years to his prison sentence.

Russia: Rights Researcher’s Trial Raises Serious Concerns

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