Last Thursday, officers of the Main Directorate for Combating Extremism of the Russian Interior Ministry (Center “E”) conducted a search in the office of Yekaterinburg “Memorial”. The reason for the inspection was an anonymous report that the organization was engaged in the production and distribution of extremist literature.
More than 40 books, two hard drives, a laptop computer, brochures, and comics were seized “for an extremism check,” the Kasparov.ru correspondent reported, citing Alexei Mosin, head of the local Memorial society.
Kommersant reports that the search also uncovered documents indicating cooperation with foreign organizations which have been deemed undesirable in Russia. “Memorial denied this information, saying that the documentation in question was irrelevant and dated from 2012-2015, when Anna Pastukhova was the head of the society.
The next day, June 24, employees of the Center for Combating Extremism visited the Yeltsin Center, where a conference from the “History of Stalinism” series was being held. The book “History of Stalinism” by Alexey Mosin, published and distributed without the marking of the status of a foreign agent of the organization, was the purpose of the new inspection. The law enforcement agencies failed to talk to the author, Alexei Mosin did not show up at the conference.
Ekaterinburg Memorial staff members call these kinds of checks “fear-mongering” and believe that the pressure from the E Center will continue.
* The “Memorial” Society is recognized in Russia as an NGO-foreign agent and has been liquidated.