On November 15, 2010 two members of the art collective Voina, Oleg Vorotnikov and Leonid Nikolaev, were arrested in Moscow. Koza and baby Kasper remain free, along with several other Voina activists.
At 7 AM ten plainclothes police agents burst into the apartment where the group was staying. The cops laid the activists face down, tied their hands behind their backs and told everyone to stay down as they had the right to use weapons. (The Internet connection had gone down a few hours earlier, probably cut off by the police.) Everyone in the apartment was then taken to the Begovaya police station, including tenants who had nothing to do with Voina. Oleg and Leonid, still handcuffed, had plastic bags placed over their heads before being taken away in a white van (license plate number 04620, registered in St. Petersburg). When Koza asked where they were being taken to, the cop in charge (nickname Omar) replied, “The woods”.
The apartment was then searched in the presence of witnesses. The search was conducted in a fashion typical of the Center “E” anti-extremism police that carried out the raid. Among the seized items were personal possessions and laptop computers belonging to the tenants and guests who weren’t affiliated with Voina. The police seized all computers, hard drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, mobile phones and SIM cards and every piece of paper that had any information on it. They also seized all IDs and documents belonging to Koza, Oleg and Leonid. Some of the cops were complaining about low wages and discussing the possibility of keeping some of the things they liked, such as video cameras, for themselves. A list of the seized items was made, however the cops refused to provide Koza with a copy.
Despite the fact that Koza (mother of 1.5 year old Kasper) wasn’t arrested, the police seized all her documents including her internal and international passports. Because of this, Koza and Kasper are now unable to receive health care. They are also deprived of many other essential things that are impossible without ID in Russia.
The police then read out an order for the opening of a criminal case.
The order was signed by judge A. N. Morozova of Dzerzhinsky district court in St. Petersburg, with A. Yu. Borodavkin listed as the investigator. The criminal case (# 276858) had been initiated against an unidentified group of people under article 213 paragraph 1 item “b” of the criminal code (hooliganism motivated by hatred or hostility towards a social group).
The male witness asked the cops to at least let Koza keep a mobile phone so as not to leave her and the infant with no means of communication. The police refused. The female witness assisted the cops in every way, telling everything she knew about the apartment.
As the police left, Koza and baby Kasper stayed in the apartment. Before leaving Omar offered Koza to have a talk with him in order to ease her fate, which she refused. After the raid Koza managed to capture some of the cops’ faces on video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzcmoWmY1Q8
The person standing in front of Omar with his back to the camera (wearing a moustache and a baseball cap) never came up to the apartment and was probably in charge of the whole operation. The anti-extremism police came all the way from St. Petersburg specifically to capture Voina.
I believe that one of our old acquaintances found out we had arrived in Moscow and started talking about it everywhere while mentioning every possible address they knew of. Whether or not they intended it, this is how our location was probably leaked. I consider the claims that we were ratted out by a member of either the Anti-Fascists or the National Bolsheviks to be intentional misinformation on part of the police. It would be simply impossible as no one in St. Petersburg knew our address in Moscow. The cops are spreading this misinformation to breed mistrust and hostility between different protest groups. We must not fall for this provocation.