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Press releases

All the detained must be immediately released!

Statement by the Chair of the YABLOKO party, January 3, 2011

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO condemns the actions by the authorities instigating the unjust rulings by the courts on holding Boris Nemtsov and other oppositional politicians (who participated in a permitted action on December 31) under arrest for many days. These decisions are unlawful and politically biased, and represent a disgrace to the police that fabricated the evidence as well as the courts of the first instance that went on a leash of the police.

This constitutes another attempt of ‘tightening up the screws’ in the very beginning of 2011 which demonstrates growth of panic in the Russian government resulting in political inadequacy. We demand that President Medvedev must adopt measures required for immediate release of all the detained and taking under control the Moscow police which has been discrediting the state power in the eyes of the Russian citizens and the world community...

Liberal International discussed political banditism in Russia

Press Release, November 13, 2010

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin made a report on situation in Russia at the meeting of Liberal International Executive Committee which is taking place in Cape Town, South African Republic.

Mitrokhin began his report with bad news. He told about an attack on civil activist Konstantin Fetisov and journalist Oleg Kashin. “Such crimes become more frequent, as they go unpunished,” stressed YABLOKO’s leader.

According to Mitrokhin, “in words Russian leaders advocate the rule of law and democracy. But their deeds strikingly differ from their declarations”. “The Russian authorities are unable to ensure implementation of laws in the country. But they widely practice arbitrary use of law as an instrument for protection of their political and economic interests,” he noted.

Regional elections are falsified, which demonstrates insecurity of the ruling party’s position. “High popularity ratings of Putin and Medvedev and very low rates of public trust to the state and public institutes demonstrate instability of our political system,” Mitrokhin said...

Country report on Russia by Sergei Mitrokhin.

Executive Committee of Liberal International. Cape Town, November 13, 2010

It has become increasingly dangerous to state one’s position in Russia. For the past week civil activist Konstantin Fektistov and journalist Oleg Kashin were beaten almost to death and severely injured. Such crimes become more frequent, as they go unpunished. Murders of well-known journalist Anna Politkovskaya, lawyer Stanislav Markelov and human rights activist Natalia Estemirova are still uninvestigated.

For the past years our party YABLOKO lost several our friends and colleagues – journalists and human rights activists Larissa Yudina, Yuri Schekochikhin and Farid Babayev. These crimes are still uninvestigated. The fact that crimes against politicians, journalists and human rights activists are unpunished gives rise to new crimes.

The Russian authorities are unable to ensure implementation of laws in the country. But they widely practice arbitrary use of law as an instrument for protection of their political and economic interests...

We demand to stop unlawful detentions and toughening of sentences!
Statement by YABLOKO’s Chairman, August 26, 2010.

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO expresses its categorical protest in connection with a court’s sentence to renowned human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov. This sentence is another example demonstrating the use of force when citizens try to realise their constitutional rights. Grave violations of the law and the use of force in detentions and fraudulent evidence in trials have become an everyday practice for the interior. The courts acting in Stalin’s style are guided by the idea that the law enforcement are always right and protesting or dissenting citizens are necessarily criminals.

YABLOKO’s activists arrested by the Russian parliament for picketing against the FSB law finally released, however, are facing a trial

Press Release, June 11, 2010.

..Major Brezhnev personally participated in detaining Grokhovsky: first he dragged Artur to the police car and then hit him in the belly. Now Anton is heading to the hospital to certify the bruises.

Grokhovsky also told that in February he had been already arrested by the same policeman for one-person picketing. Due to the video recording made by YABLOKO Grokhovsky was acquitted by the court then. Grokhovsky hopes that the court will acquit the activists this time too, as the action was also recorded...

Liberal International to discuss arbitrary actions of Moscow police in breaking YABLOKO's picket

Press Release, June 11, 2010.

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin expressed his indignation with police breaking of YABLOKO’s one-person picket and arresting the activists protesting against the amendments to the law on the Federal Security Service (former KGB) by the Russian parliament building. No permission or coordination with authorities is required for conducting one-person pickets in accordance with the Russian law. Nevertheless the picket was brutally broken and the activists were arrested.

Mitrokhin said that actions by police officers who arrested the activist holding the placard, as well as three other activists who were standing by were a rude violation of the Constitution and the law “On assemblies, meetings, demonstrations and pickets”...

Action “Preventing Extremism” brutally broken by police

Press Release, June 11, 2010. Video, photos.

Action against introduction of amendments on the law on the Federal Security Service (the former KGB), which YABLOKO attempted to hold today by the building of the State Duma (the Russian Parliament) was brutally broken by police. Despite of the fact that it was a one-person picketing (four activists had to replace each other in turn) and did not require any permissions or notifications from the authorities, four YABLOKO’s activists were arrested and taken to the local police department and a placard depicting the head of KGB Felix Dzerzhinsky, the closest accomplice of Stalin in setting terror in the country Lavrenty Beria, and Vladimir Putin and bearing a the words "The KGB people vote FOR it!" was confiscated.

On June 11, at 9.30 am, half an hour before the plenary session the Russian parliament had to start, First Deputy Chair of the Moscow Yabloko Galina Mikhalyova took her place by the main entrance to the parliament building with a placard depicting Felix Dzerzhinsky, Lavrenty Beria and Vladimir Putin against a black ground and a hand voting for them. “The law on preventing extremism. The KGB people vote FOR it!" ran the slogan under the picture. The Russian parliament will discuss this draft law in the first reading today...

Breaking up of rallies means professional incompetence of the Russian government

Statement by the YABLOKO party. June 1, 2010

The Russian United Democratic Party YABLOKO consders the reaction of the authorities to the protest actions that took place in Moscow, St.Petersburg and other Russian cities yesterday be unacceptable and absurd.

A deliberately tough use of obviously superior police forces against the groups of citizens who simply expressed their opinion without endangering anyone’s security represents a proof of inability of state officials, top officials inclusive, to adequately assess the situation in the country...

YABLOKO’s activists leave the court protesting against collusion of the judge with OMON

Press Release. February 23, 2010

The arrested activists – YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin, General Major Anton Goretsky and Artur Grokhovsky, aid of YABLOKO’s leader, spent over an hour in the district court waiting for hearings on their case. After an hour expired they went to the courtroom to find out when the hearings were to take place. However, they saw a judge discussing something with the OMON policemen who were witnesses on the case. According to Grokhovsky, several policemen were standing by the judge’s table and one of them was even sitting on the table. However, the judge demanded to close the door and not to interfere into the discussion.
YABLOKO’s activists left the court in protest against collusion of the judge and the police, despite resistance of the policemen who brought them to the court. “I think that what has happened is a manifestation of an arbitrary rule and also a humiliation to General Goretsky who on the Day of the Defender of the Fatherland was kept in the police station for three hours and then kept in court,” Mitrokhin said. “The judge not only behaved incorrectly towards us, but even tried to make a collusion with the witnesses who were actually a party in the case,” he noted.

YABLOKO’s leader and General Major arrested for picketing in protection of military pensioners’ rights

Press Release. February 23, 2010

YABLOKO’s leader Sergei Mitrokhin and leader of the Moscow Region YABLOKO General Major Anton Goretsky were arrested for conducting a picket in protection of the military pensioners’ rights that had not been coordinated with the authorities. The local authorities declined YABLOKO’s application to conduct picketing by the Ministry of Defence on February 23 (the Day of Defenders of the Fatherland). However, the same action had been allowed on January 20.
The participants of the picket held slogans “Scanty Military Pensions – a Disgrace to the State!” when about 15 OMON policemen arrested YABLOKO’s activists and drove them to the local police station.

The staff of the Government of the Moscow Region interferes with YABLOKO’s picketing

Press Release, January 28, 2010

The staff of the Government of the Moscow Region interfered with YABLOKO’s one-man picketing in front of their building. YABLOKO protests against virtual introduction of a ban on one-man pickets which has been initiated by the Moscow Region Duma.

The parliament of the Moscow Region submitted to the State Duma a draft law stipulating that one-man pickets (in addition to demonstrations, rallies and group pickets) should be not only coordinated with the authorities but organisers of such pickets should also submit the plan and schedule of such picketing. Activists of the Moscow Region branch of YABLOKO call one-man picketing the only form of street protest which has been available, as normally the authorities ban rallies and pickets with a large number of participants under faked pretexts.

Activists and leaders of the YABLOKO party participate in the action in memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasiya Baburova in Moscow

Press Release, January 20, 2010

Activists and leaders of the YABLOKO party participated in the action in memory of Stanislav Markelov and Anastasiya Baburova murdered a year ago.

Party leader Sergei Mitrokhin and member of the Political Committee Sergei Kovalyov participated in the march along Petrovsky Boulevard. Grigory Yavlinsky laid flowers to the place where Markelov and Baburova were killed and came to the picket by the Griboyedov monument where the march ended.

YABLOKO’s activists noted that they managed to escape mass-scale police reprisals only due to interference of Russia’s Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin who came to Petrovsky Boulevard.

At present YABLOKO’s activists are trying to prevent the second wave of arrests, provoked by the police who tore the megaphone from the speakers at the picket.

March and meeting Civil Society Against a Police State took place in Moscow
Press release, May 1, 2004

About 5,000 people participated in the march and meeting Civil Society Against a Police State, which took place in Moscow on May 1, 2004. Civil Society Against a Police State was the main slogan of the action.


The activists of the YABLOKO party will participate in meetings and marches in 35 Russian regions on May 1
Press release, April 30, 2004

The main slogans of the YABLOKO party will be as follows: No to a police state! Let us protect democracy! In many cities YABLOKO activists will also carry social slogans.


The Moscow Mayor's Office gives the go-ahead to democratic march and meeting on May 1
Press release, April 27, 2004

On Tuesday, April 27, 2004, the Moscow Mayor's Office authorised the holding in Moscow of a democratic march and a meeting under the slogan "Civil Society Against a Police State" on May 1, 2004.


The Civil Union of Vladimir began its work in Vladimir
Press release, April 24, 2004

A new public organisation - the Civil Union of Vladimir was established in Vladimir. The founders of the union are regional branches of two parties – the Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO and the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS).


On the democratic march of May 1, 2004
Press-Service of the Moscow branch of YABLOKO, April 12, 2004

On April 9, 2004, the Moscow Mayor's Office refused an appeal from the Democratic Party YABLOKO and a number of public organisations to hold a march on May 1, 2004, under the slogan "Civil Society Against a Police State." The formal grounds for the refusal stated that the documents had been incorrectly drafted.


The Moscow Mayor's Office refused the application from Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO and a number of public organisations to hold a meeting on May 1, 2004
Press release, April 9, 2004

In addition to YABLOKO, the following organisations planned to participate in the action: the Committee-2008, the Union of Right-Wing Forces (SPS), the Moscow Helsinki Group, the movements "For Human Rights," "Common Action", the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers, as well as a number of environmental organisations and independent trade unions.


Russian and European Integration

Speech by Sergei Mitrokhin
Liberal International Executive Committee
Berlin, June 11, 2010

Announcing a policy towards modernisation in Russia President of Russia put himself in line with a number of Russian rulers-reformers who aspired to perform radical transformations in the country. Some specific traits of this policy resemble those of his predecessors. The President understands modernisation primarily as acceleration of scientific and technological development. With some reservations about the need for political reform, the latter look like a number of quite shallow and very systematic activities...

Ombudsman Lukin: Rallies can not be “unsanctioned”

Human Rights in Russia, hro.org. June 2, 2010

Russia’s Ombudsman and one of the founders of the YABLOKO party Vladimir Lukin says that the heads of the interior should apologise before the participants of the rally they arrested at the Triunfalnaya Square, Moscow. He also refuses to sign an agreement on cooperation with the Interior Ministry until this is done, runs the BBC service.

Lukin has also prepared or is going to prepare and submit to the heads of the state proposals on “normalisation of the situation with conducting rallies,” Grani.ru informs with a reference to the Echo Moskvi radio station. Lukin announced this while commenting on police breaking of the action held in protection of Article 31 of the Constitution of Russia which guarantees freedom of assembly. “The Russian law does not contain such words as “sanctioned” or “unsanctioned”, and all the talk about sanctions are purely subjective,” Lukin stated. He also added that the heads of the Interior Ministry should conduct a thorough investigation of the events at the Triumfalnaya Square in Moscow on May 31.

Lukin also reiterated that he himself had been present at the rally and “can state that the law enforcement acted in an extremely tough and rude manner”. He also noted that on the same day the authorities gave a permission to conduct “a ‘gala-medical’ action”; whereas all the participants of this action were allowed to conduct a rally in the centre of Moscow from early in the morning till late at night...

A long silence by the head of the state

Nezavisimaya Gazeta. June 3, 2010

Yesterday the European Union publicly expressed its concern over the situation with human
rights in Russia. Such a statement was made by deputy head of the EU delegation in Russia Michael Webb. On the threashold of the Rostov-Don summit Moscow police brutally supressed an opposition rally. The head of state in the meantime did not respond to both of the developments. NG experts comment that Dmitry Medvedev is deliberately disassociating himself from the urgent problems. They note that Premier Vladimir Putin does not avoid the human rights topic.

Michael Webb of the EU mission said at the news conference in Rostov-on-Don that the European Union was particularly upset by the “situation with human rights activists and murders of journalists in Russia”. “We have also expressed our concern with the fact that the crimes committed by the law enforcement go unpunished,” Webb added...

Police in Moscow Rough up More Demonstrators
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, July 28, 2004

The Yabloko press service reported on 27 July that two members of the party were taken to a hospital following a rally outside FSB headquarters in Moscow, Ekho Moskvy and Interfax reported. The two injured, Irina Vorobeva and Aleksei Kozhin, are members of the party's youth wing, and one of them is reportedly in serious condition.


Passions Over Referenda
By Orkhan Dzhemal and Yana Serova, Novaya Gazeta, June 10, 2004

A referendum is a form of direct democracy. The people themselves take decisions on state issues, without using legislators as intermediaries. Early democracies functioned in this way: the citizens of ancient Athens or medieval Novgorod engaged in what amounted to constant referenda.


Over 1.4 Million Rally on May Day
By Anneli Nerman, The Moscow Times, May 6, 2004

With many of Moscow's Soviet-era satellites joining the European Union on Saturday, the Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky stressed that Russia's future also lies in integration with Europe.


Griogry Yavlinsky calls on democratic parties to unite
Rosbalt, May 1, 2004

According to a Rosbalt correspondent, YABLOKO’s leader also stated that the conditions requisite for the functioning of independent courts, parliament and mass media should be created in Russia. Public and civil control over secret services and the law and enforcement agencies should be installed.


Resolution of the meeting Civil Society Against a Police State
Moscow, Lubyanka square, May 1, 2004

Civil rights and liberties have been steadily curbed by the authorities. The division of powers into the legislative, the executive and the judicial has been transformed into a sheer formality.


Does Russia still need May Day
With participation of Grigory Yavlinsky, Vladimir Lukin and Sergei Mitrokhin

Based on BBC Monitoring, Anchor: Savvik Shuster, NTV Channel, "Freedom of Speech" programme, April 30, 2004

A table indicated that 60 per cent of the population thought that May Day had lost its meaning; 37 per cent thought it was important and should still be celebrated today; 4 per cent were unable to reply.


Liberals but No Hemp Lovers on May 1
By Oksana Yablokova, The Moscow Times, April 30, 2004

Yabloko will be joined by members and supporters of the Union of Right Forces party, the Committee 2008: Free Choice movement, Greenpeace, and the human rights organizations Moscow Helsinki Group, Soldiers' Mothers and others, Yabloko spokeswoman Yevgenia Dillendorf said.


Vladimir Putin normalized the Moscow authorities
By Yulia Taratuta and Igor Khamrayev, Kommersant, No 77, April 28, 2004

Moscow City Hall changed its mind and allowed YABLOKO to organize a demonstration on May 1


Democracy and Barricades: History Repeats Itself
IA MiK, April 14, 2004

...Meanwhile, another application on conducting a democratic march and signed by the leader of the Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO Grigory Yavlinsky, Chairperson of the Moscow Helsinki Group Ludmila Alexeeva and Chairperson of the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia Valentina Melnikova was submitted to the Moscow Mayor's Office on April 12, 2004.


Grigory Yavlinsky: The ban of the First of May march is symptomatic
Interview with Grigory Yavlinsky by Marina Gvozdevskaya, BBC, April 9, 2004

"...And this is connected with the fact that the action was announced as "Civil Society Against a Police State," and it was banned because it was stated in such an open and clear way."


It is time to protect the Constitution
The Russian Democratic Party YABLOKO, Appeal to Russia's independent public organisations, April 2, 2004

Freedom of assembly is one of the first victories of the Russian democracy. At present we can be deprived of this our conquest. The authorities have already done away with the independence of the large mass media and discredited the institution of free elections.


President Condemns Protest Bill
Combined Reports, The Moscow Times, April 13, 2004

Putin is sensitive about his democratic image after being criticized by the opposition and some Western governments for dominating the state-run airwaves in the run-up to his landslide re-election March 14.


Putin Criticizes Draft Law Limiting Freedom of Assembly
MosNews, April 12, 2004

Putin called the restrictions on the freedom of assembly "unwholesome". He said that "in terms of our reality", the right to hold demonstrations and processions should not be limited, the agency reported.


Moscow Mayor's Office turns down YABLOKO's application to organize a demonstration
By Konstantin Demchenko, Russkiy Kurier, No 75, p.1, April 10, 2004

Yesterday the Moscow Mayor's Office refused the request of leaders of the YABLOKO party to allow them to organize a demonstration and a rally on May 1. The demonstration was to take place under the slogan: "Civil society against a police state".


YABLOKO Forbidden from Holding Meetings in Moscow
RIA "OREANDA", April 9, 2004

On 1 May participants in the action planned to march along Myasnitskaya Street up to Lubyanka Square and hold a meeting on the square near the Solovetsky Stone. About 6,000 people planned to take part.


Duma Rethinks Ban on Protests
By Caroline McGregor, The Moscow Times, April 5, 2004

In the wake of "serious social resonance," the State Duma's United Russia majority backpedaled from outright support of a bill banning rallies in many public places Friday, just two days after voting in favor of it.


"YABLOKO" Supporters Stage a Picket by the Duma
RIA "Novosti", March 31, 2004

Picketers were protesting against the draft law on rallies, meetings, demonstrations, processions and pickets, which the Duma will discuss in the first reading.


Yabloko Demonstrates Against Restrictions to Freedom of Assembly
MosNews, March 31, 2004

Activists of the Russian liberal party Yabloko held a protest rally near the building of the State Duma on Wednesday morning.


Demonstrations near Embassies to be prohibited in Russia
pravda.ru, March 31, 2004

Demonstrations are addressed to the authorities. How will the authorities know about popular protests, if the demonstrations are held in residential areas?


Yabloko Accuses Government of Violating Constitution
Rosbalt, March 31, 2004

Yabloko says the government's new legislation on limiting public demonstrations violates the foundation of Russia's constitution and is aimed at eliminating civil rights which are guaranteed by Article 31 of the constitution.


Russian Bill Curbing Mass Rallies Gains
By David Holley, Los Angeles Times, April 1, 2004

In a move that could push protests largely out of the public eye, Russia's lower house of parliament gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a law that would ban demonstrations from a wide range of places, including areas close to highways, government buildings and diplomatic missions.


Are Meetings a Thing of the Past?
Aleksei Levchenko, Rosbalt. Translated by Alex Anderson, Rosbalt, April 1, 2004

The Duma has adopted a very interesting new law. Deputies have decided to severely regulate public meetings, marches and pickets. After carefully reading it, critics of the new legislation have concluded that the right to hold any mass meeting will now be in question.


Duma Bill Sharply Restricts Rallies
By Caroline McGregor, The Moscow Times, April 1, 2004

As the United Russia majority in the State Duma gave preliminary approval to a bill outlawing protests near government buildings Wednesday, pro-democracy activists staged a rally outside the Duma's main entrance to insist on their right to do just that.

Press releases


Project Director: Vyacheslav Erohin e-mail: admin@yabloko.ru Director: Olga Radayeva, e-mail: english@yabloko.ru

Administrator: Vlad Smirnov, e-mail: vladislav.smirnov@yabloko.ru