On December 28 in Moscow, the police searched the apartment of Mikhail Lobanov, a docent in the Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics at the Moscow State University and a prominent Russian pro-democracy activist. Lobanov has been a strong supporter of Azat Miftakov and had been arrested more than once for his protests in support of Azat. This particular search was a part of a large scale criminal case targeting various Russian opposition figures, supposedly for spreading “fake” information about the Russian military, a euphemism charge the Russian authorities use to prosecute those speaking out against Russia’s war in Ukraine. Reports indicate that during the search the police broke the door of Lobanov’s apartment and have beaten Lobanov himself. The following day, December 29, Nikulinksky District Court in Moscow sentenced Mikhail Lobanov to 15 days in jail, supposedly for “obstructing” the police during the search. It is expected that the authorities will use the search results, including the computer equipment seized, for the upcoming criminal case.
The Azat Miftakhov Committee stands in solidarity with Mikhail Lobanov and all other scientists in Russia who continue to oppose the brutality of Putin’s regime and speak against the war.