The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Daghestan has reportedly opened a criminal investigation into journalists and feminist activist Svetlana Anokhina for ‘discrediting the Russian armed forces’.
Anokhina, who is not currently in Russia, is the editor-in-chief of Daptar, a journal focussing on women in Daghestan. She has for years been outspoken about the rights of women, minorities, and queer people in Daghestan, and has voiced strong opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
[Read more on OC Media: Svetlana Anokhina — ‘The shame of Daghestan’]
According to the Telegram channel Sapa, the authorities were investigating posts she made on Instagram, which is banned in Russia.
Anokhina said that a criminal case being opened against her ‘was natural'.
‘This was to be expected, it’s impossible that I was not ready for this. I am only surprised that there were no administrative cases that usually precede a criminal case’, Anokhina told OC Media.
She added that she ‘does not conform’ to the ideas of her country.
‘I categorically disagree with both the external and internal positions and politics [of Russia], and with its very existence in its present form. For me, this is some kind of terrible malignant new growth, or old growth, that devours everything around itself and within itself too, so such events were to be expected. It’s very strange that it was because of posts on Instagram’, said Anokhina.
According to her, investigators had not yet contacted her or informed her about the case against her. There have not yet been any official public comments on the case.
Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russia adopted laws against spreading ‘deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces’, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Svetlana Anokhina believes there is not only a problem with this law, but the very ‘existence of the country in its current form’ is an attempt to influence her activities and the activities of other people.
‘This is an attempt to influence the activities, and even the lives, of [the country’s] own and other people. I do not intend to respond in any way, I intend ot live as I have been living, and to do what I do, because I have no other option’, said Anokhina.
In March 2022, a criminal case for discrediting the Russian army was also opened against the founder of the Ingush news site Fortanga, Izabella Evloeva. Evloeva, who previously fled to Prague, has been placed on Russia’s federal wanted list as a result.