Whether torturing civilians or kidnapping Ukrainian children, the Russian security service is always there. Texts from the environment of exile.

Cars in front of a building.

Headquarters of the FSB secret service in Moscow Photo: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

The Meduza portal, in Russian and English, is one of the most important Russian independent media. In January 2023, Meduza was completely banned in Russia. But Meduza continues to raise his voice against the war, from exile. Since March 1, 2023, the taz presents in a weekly selection what Meduza currently reports every Wednesday at taz.de/meduza. The project is funded by the Taz Panter Foundation.

During the week of April 11-17, 2024, Meduza reported on the following topics, among others:

The FSB's hands are everywhere

The Russian security service FSB failed to prevent the terrorist attack on Crocus City Hall on March 22 in a Moscow suburb. Maybe because he is too busy with other things: FSB agents had him more than a year ago Wall Street JournalReporter Evan Gershkovich arrested on suspicion of espionage. And the FSB has been instrumental in enforcing the Kremlin's crackdown on anti-Putin voices and LGBTQ+ activists.

In a new episode of the podcast “La Pravda Desnuda” he talks jellyfish-Editor Sam Breazeale with Dr. Kevin Riehle, foreign intelligence expert and author of a book on the FSB (English text). They discuss the development of the security service in Russia and its role in the Ukrainian war. Two examples: the FSB is involved in the deportation of Ukrainian children and the torture of civilians.

Women at the forefront – out of prison

In the fall of 2023, the Russian Ministry of Defense began recruiting inmates from a women's prison into the army. The objective: to replenish the ranks of the armed forces for the war against Ukraine. However, six months after signing their contracts, they are still waiting to be deployed.

Many of them hoped to get out of prison quickly, see their children again, and even receive money. Many inmates now fear that they will only be recruited once they have served their sentence. Posted about it jellyfish an article in English, originally in Russian in the independent media Bumaga it has appeared.

The text quotes the director of the prisoners' rights organization Russia behind bars, Olga Romanova. She was one of the first to report on the recruitment of female prisoners for the war in Ukraine. The most important criterion for the Ministry of Defense when selecting future fighters was not the severity of their crimes, but whether the inmates were HIV-positive, Romanowa says.

Tortured to death by fellow soldiers

Like the newly recruited women, Ilya Bacharev thought that joining the Russian army was a ticket to freedom. His wife Svetlana says she didn't want his children to see him forever as just a former prisoner. He is now dead: court documents jellyfish The present shows how Ilya is tortured to death by his comrades. The widow is not entitled to compensation from the Russian Ministry of Defense “because Ilya did not die in combat.”

The middle of exile jellyfish publishes an abbreviated version in English of an investigation that was first published in Russian in the cooperative of independent journalists record appeared.

Depression among Russian LGBTQ+ activists

At least four Russian-speaking people who fled to the Netherlands because of their sexual orientation and were awaiting their asylum decision committed suicide. This was announced in January. Human rights organizations Sfera and Conscious Refusers Movement have now called on the Dutch Ministry of Justice to investigate all cases of suicide among Russian-speaking LGBTQ+ refugees.

One of the refugees who died in the Netherlands is Antonina Babkina, a transgender girl from Moscow who suffered from depression and had been waiting for asylum for a year at the time of her suicide. She did not receive psychological support.

jellyfish I spoke to four LGBTQ people from Russia who are waiting for asylum in the Netherlands or have recently received asylum about their situation (Russian text).

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