Mother of regular conscript killed in Russia’s Belgorod region slapped with police report for ‘discrediting army’

Her interview with Novaya-Europe prompted the complaint

The mother of a regular conscript, who was meant to receive military training but was sent to Russia’s Belgorod region where he was killed in shelling, has received a police report for “discrediting the Russian army” after an interview with Novaya Gazeta Europe, the woman told, a local news portal in the Tyumen region.

Regular conscript Afanasy Podaev from the Tyumen region was killed in the Belgorod region where he was not originally meant to be stationed as part of his mandatory military training. On 29 May 2023, Novaya-Europe published an interview with his relatives: father Oleg Podaev, sister Yulia Podkhodova, and mother Alla Fatkhelislamova.

A few days after the video was published, a woman named Anna Korobkova appealed to the police, demanding that Fatkhelislamova be brought to justice for “discrediting the army”.

“They [the police] came, showed a complaint on the phone. They asked me why I gave the interview. They did not even know that my son died. Several days later, they came to my work to bring the printed statement to read.”

“[It reads that] even during World War II relatives did not have the right to speak up against anything,”

the mother told reporters.

It’s unclear which precise words said by the woman prompted the police report, but in the interview Fatkhelislamova offered a few negative remarks about the Ukraine war. “To be honest, when the war broke out, I was always looking at [the reports] and crying, I was worried. Who needs the war? No one. Even then [in the beginning of the war] when my son wasn’t in the army, I was crying for others,” she said.

The reporters also note that Anna Korobkova, the woman who alerted the authorities about Fatkhelislamova, regularly complains about fellow citizens who oppose the Ukraine war. In particular, she was the person behind a complaint drafted against Alexey Mosin, the head of Yekaterinburg’s branch of the Memorial human rights organisation. He ultimately was slapped with two police reports for “discrediting the Russian army”.

Anthropologist Alexandra Arkhipova wrote a post, detailing Korobkova’s complaint initiatives. According to her, Korobkova wrote to the police about several of her colleagues. Arkhipova herself faced a complaint written up by a certain woman mentioned as K. The anthropologist managed to contact the author of the police notice and get a response from K. The letter details why the author writes complaints about others. It is believed that K. is indeed Korobkova.

“Being a police informer is in my blood.”

“My grandfather was a Soviet officer in the [Second World] War between 1942 and 1945. He was an NKVD (Soviet Interior Ministry until 1946 — translator’s note) secret agent which he told me himself,” K. wrote.

According to Korobkova, her grandfather was the one who taught her how to write police complaints.

The woman also shed light on her “work” schedule: she spends two days by watching videos produced by media outlets designated as “foreign agents” in Russia and then spends the next two days writing police complaints against the people who leave comments to the videos.

Korobkova says that she has already drafted 764 complaints since the Ukraine war began.

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