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Activist Handed 4-Year Prison Term in Warsaw Case

Published: February 12, 2014 (Issue # 1797)



  • Lyovkins lawyer, Gleb Lavrentyev, and his mother, Olga Lyovkina, with pictures of Lyovkin at Mondays news conference.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

Denis Lyovkin, a 20-year-old activist held for more than one year in the so-called Warsaw Case, was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday by Judge Irina Eizhvertina for assaulting two police officers at a protest. On Feb. 4, the state prosecutor asked that Lyovkin be sentenced to 4 1/2 years behind bars.

Lyovkin took part in an attempt to save a historic warehouse belonging to the now-defunct Warsaw Railway Station from demolition on Feb. 4, 2013, which is believed to be St. Petersburgs first protest to result in criminal charges being brought.

The defense claimed that the indictment against Lyovkin is based purely on false evidence given by police officers.

Related: Railway Station Probe Continues to Unfold

The officers were allegedly injured when the police stormed the warehouse.

According to witnesses, police acted with force, knocking down and beating the protesters. At a police station, Lyovkin was singled out of the 22 detained activists and charged with assaulting the policemen, before being transferred to the Kresty prison. The remaining activists were charged with holding an illegal rally and disobeying police orders.

Testimony against Lyovkin was given by six police officers including the Admiralteisky District police chief Grigory Klebanov.

Related: Police Evict Warehouse Squatters in Violent Clashes

Thats when much became clear to me. I understood that the investigation was over before it had even started, Olga Lyovkina, the activists mother, told a news conference on Monday.

The testimony by the police took away any hope for a fair and competent investigation. Lyovkina said she had collected photographs to prove Lyovkins innocence herself, but they were completely ignored by the investigators.

I understood the reason, she said.Its elementary; if they admit the obvious that Denis is not guilty the testimony by the police officers headed by the Admiralteisky District police chief automatically become perjury, something that the system, that the investigators, could not let happen. The system short-circuited. Even the victims themselves are not interested in who assaulted them in reality. I did not expect that it would be so absurd.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although thesand sculptures at the Peter and Paul Fortress are more centrally located and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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