Destinations Magazine

Russian Justice: New Show Trials

By Stizzard
Russian justice: New show trials A newlywed in jail

TATIANA POLIKHOVICHA says she and her husband of one month, Alexei, share the “ordinary” feelings of “young people in love”. The two 22-year-olds, who met in their first year at university, communicate in “smiles and half gestures” that only they understand, she says. But their wedding was in Moscow’s Butyrka jail and those gestures are passed through the glass of the “aquarium” where defendants sit in Russian courtrooms. Mr Polikhovich is one of 12 people on trial for charges stemming from an anti-government protest in May 2012 and is facing up to 13 years in prison.The demonstration on May 6th last year was held in Moscow the day before Vladimir Putin’s inauguration to a third presidential term. Although the euphoria and optimism that marked protests the previous winter had dissipated, around 40,000 people turned up. What began as a peaceful march descended into clashes between protesters and the police. What sparked the violence remains unclear.Officials referred to the events of May 6th as a “provocation”. Mr Putin’s spokesman said of protesters who fought with the authorities that police should “smear their…

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