Russian conscript rights NGO ceases operations, fearing persecution


MOSCOW – A Russian non-governmental organization that has been defending the rights of conscripts in the Russian military for more than two decades claims to have ceased its activities because he risks being persecuted by the authorities.

Mothers of St. Petersburg soldiers made the announcement on October 5, citing “severe restrictions” imposed by Russia’s main internal security service on the group’s activities.

The move comes days after the Federal Security Service (FSB) published a list of 60 points of non-secret matters that could lead to the designation of individuals or organizations as “foreign agents” if they cover them or write to them. their subject, and are subject to criminal prosecution.

The document is the latest in a growing web of restrictions under a nine-year-old law that has been used to target independent media, civil society groups, rights activists and others.

The mothers of St. Petersburg soldiers were created in the 1990s.

“We clearly understand that at the moment neither the state nor society needs our work,” the NGO said in its statement.

“The state has chosen another path of development, and society has found itself frightened and has to comply” with new realities.

The FSB’s list, dated September 28, includes general topics, such as collecting information on “the moral and psychological climate within the armed forces, investigating crimes committed in the military, as well as” the location, number and armaments ”of military forces. , military purchases and contracts.

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