Stepan Zimin  

Year of birth: 1992

Charge: Participation in mass disorder and use of violence against  authorities; sentenced to 3 years 6 months

Currently imprisoned in: Prison colony, Tula

Lawyer: Alexey Emelyanov +7 (926) 400-99-99
Maxim Pashkov


Stepan Zimin is one of 27 people who are currently on trial because of their involvement in the mass demonstration on 6th of May 2012. On that date, immediately before President Putin's inauguration, about 100,000-120,000 people took part in a peaceful protest in Moscow. The police suddenly blocked the way to Bolotnaya (Swamp) Square where the SANCTIONED march was to terminate thus provoking a clash with the protesters. Then the police announced the demonstration was cancelled and immediately attacked the protesters, beginning to disperse them with the aid of batons and tear gas. As a result, approximately 600 people were arrested on the spot, hundreds were injured. Criminal charges were initiated not against the unlawful police officers but against the lawful protesters for participating in mass disorder and acts of violence. 27 people were selected by the authorities to serve as examples in a theatre of show-case prosecutions.

Stepan Zimin is a student of Eastern Studies at the State University of Humanities. He is engaged in historical recreation of Slavic culture of the 10th century and blacksmith work. He is also anarchist and antifascist, a participant of the movement 'Occupy' and protests against the destruction of the forests around Moscow.

Zimin was arrested on the 8th of June in his apartment. According to the prosecutor a radio transmitter, balaclava, Molotov cocktail, "matching literature", several passports and other suspicious items were confiscated. Later it transpired that Zimin in fact did not have a passport which would allow him to travel abroad.

Zimin is accused of throwing a piece of concrete which hit a policeman's finger and broke it. The statements of the policeman are contradictory. In the beginning he maintained that he did not see the attacker but in one month changed his opinion and pointed out Zimin. The testifying medical expert concluded that the character of the policeman's injury does not match with damage from being hit by the piece of concrete. The finger was broken not because of a collision with an object but because it was twisted. In a similar fashion, another piece of evidence was proved to be false: the confiscated "Molotov cocktail" was found to be a bottle of paint solvent. Nevertheless, the judge refused to move Zimin under a house arrest.

"You are right", wrote Zimin to his friend, "The prison is also a school of life, but the most important is that it would not become my second high education. It is hard to see that the majority of people here are just as innocent as I am. Everyone knows that I am innocent including the detective but he is unable not to fabricate the case because he is pressured from above."