Severely Beaten Activist Dies

Yury Chervochnik being detained on March 11, 2007.  Photo ©AFPOn December 10th, around 5PM Moscow time, an Other Russia activist named Yury Chervochkin died quietly in the neurosurgery wing of the Burdenko Research Institute. He had been in the clinic since late November, when he was hospitalized in a comatose state. He would have turned 23 on December 31st.

Chervochkin’s close associates implicated the UBOP Special Forces in his death. As the National Bolshevik website reported, UBOP officers had repeatedly threatened the youth. “Yury’s death symbolizes new times for the whole opposition. The authoritarian regime in Russia has irrevocably changed into a dictatorial one, and the first corpse of a political opponent has appeared before Putin’s successor,” a statement on the site said.

Yury Chervochkin was on the Parliamentary candidate list of the Other Russia opposition coalition for the Moscow Oblast. On November 22, 2007, he was violently beaten in the Moscow suburb of Serpukhov. He was found unconscious near the entranceway to his building. UBOP officers have claimed that Chervochkin was found in a different place, contradicting witnesses.

An hour before the attack, the young activist called into the editorial offices of the Sobkor®ru news agency, and told them that he was being watched by four UBOP agents. He recognized them from previous encounters, when he had been detained.

An investigation into the attack was only launched after Chervochkin died, much to the dismay and astonishment of family members. His mother, Nadezhda Chervochkina, was repeatedly turned away from militsiya offices, told that “no suspects have been apprehended,” and told that there was no inquiry taking place.

“They didn’t do anything for three weeks, and not they won’t let me bury my son. They are planning to keep him in the morgue for six months,” she told reporters.