Soviet-era dissident detained in St. Petersburg for ‘justifying terrorism’

A 66-year-old Soviet dissident who spent six years in a psychiatric hospital in the 1980s for opposing the Soviet regime is now facing charges for “justifying terrorism”.

Alexander Skobov was detained in St. Petersburg late on Tuesday, local news outlet Fontanka reported, adding that he purposely didn’t take his diabetic medication with him “as a sign of protest”.

The “justifying terrorism” accusations could be related to Skobov’s posts on Telegram in the wake of the Moscow concert hall attack. In a post on 24 March, two days after the shooting, Skobov wrote that the terror attack was either “a failure or a provocation” by the Russian special services, adding that the Kremlin “clearly profits from the attack”.

Alexander Skobov, who was part of the New Leftists opposition movement in the late 1970s, served two three-year terms in a psychiatric hospital for participating in protest actions against the regime, a common fate for political dissidents in the late Soviet era.

Skobov, who opposed Russia’s annexation of Crimea as well as its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, has remained in Russia despite being added to the country’s foreign agent” list in March, and being made to pay fines for his participation in the Free Russia Forum, a pro-democracy organisation involved in planning for a post-Putin future that has been deemed “undesirable” by the Russian government.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.