“Got Arrested and Escaped”

Oleg Kozlovsky and two other activists of the Russian youth movement, Oborona, were arrested at Moscow State University on 11 March 2009. The activists were calling students to take part in the opposition’s Day of Dissent, which was planned for the next day. The police arrested three of them.

While the three were waiting for the police to prepare the documents on the arrest, the maximum term of detention expired. Yet the police refused to release them. One activist, Ilya Mishenko, managed to leave the police HQ unnoticed. The police was upset, fearing sanctions from their bosses. Leaving the police HQ before you are convicted is not prohibited under Russian law.

Oleg overheard the police talking to someone they referred to as “General,” who told them detain Oleg by whatever means for two days, so that he would not be able to participate in the Day of Dissent. The police decided to charge Oleg with “petty hooliganism,” which would have allowed them to hold him for up to 48 hours before taking him to court.

Oleg managed, however, to escape to the cellar of Moscow State University and walk away. Oleg heard later that the police had panicked and searched for him throughout the huge university complex. Failing to find Oleg, the police was heard discussing who would be fired for letting him escape.


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