European Court Orders Russia To Compensate Two Activists In Bolotnaya Case

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ordered Russia to pay compensation to two Russian activists who received prison terms for their roles in organizing a May 2012 protest against President Vladimir Putin and his government on Moscow's Bolotnaya Square.

The court ruled on November 19 that Russia must pay 11,000 euros ($12,170) to Leonid Razvozzhayev and 9,000 euros ($10,000) to Sergei Udaltsov. In addition, the court ordered Ukraine to pay Razvozzhayev 4,000 euros ($4,400).

The ECHR concluded that Russian authorities violated the two activists' rights to free public gatherings and also abused their rights by detaining them and making them serve prison terms far from their homes in Moscow.

Udaltsov, the coordinator of the Left Front opposition movement, was an organizer of the anti-Putin protest on the Bolotnaya Square. He was convicted of organizing mass disorder and sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison, which he served fully before being released in 2017.

Razvozzhayev, a member of Udaltsov's movement, has said that he was forcibly taken by Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) officers in 2012 from Ukraine, where he had planned to apply for political asylum. He was also sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison, which he also served.

The ECHR found both Russia and Ukraine responsible for failing to investigate Razvozzhayev's claim about his alleged abduction by the FSB in Ukraine.