Escalating repressions in occupied Crimea: Russia detained key defense attorney

Nikolai Polozov being interrogated inside the FSB building in Simferopol in Russia-annexed Crimea (Image: Anton Naumlyuk, Ukrayinska Pravda)

Nikolai Polozov being interrogated inside the FSB building in Simferopol in Russia-annexed Crimea (Image: Anton Naumlyuk, Ukrayinska Pravda) 

Crimea, More

On Wednesday, 25 January, 2017 in Russia-occupied Crimea, the Federal Security Service (FSB) detained Nikolai Polozov, the legal defender of two high-profile Crimean Tatar activists Ahtem Chiygoz and Ilmi Umerov. If the Russian security service succeeds in its attempt at changing Polozov’s status  to a witness in the case of Ilmi Umerov, then he will no longer be able to defend Umerov.

Earlier Polozov voiced his fears that the FSB will attempt to bring him in by force for an interrogation in the case of his client. In November 2016 Polozov stated that the FSB investigator in the case of Umerov, who is accused by the Russian Federation of “separatism,” is trying to remove him from the trial by changing his status to that of a witness in the case and attempting to interrogate the advocate.

“The investigator has no grounds for questioning me as a witness. The Law on Advocacy of the Russian Federation, Article 8, imposes a direct ban on lawyer’s questioning as a witness about circumstances he learned in the course of providing legal defense” – the defender of Crimean Tatars stated.

The arrest of lawyer Nikolai Polozov, who is defending Ilmi Umerov, the deputy chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, indicates escalating repressions against Crimean Tatars in Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula annexed by Russia almost two years ago.

“This is another manifestation of the policy of pressure and intimidation that is traditional for the country and the occupier regime,” – Emine Dzheppar, First Deputy Minister of Information Policy of Ukraine, wrote on his Facebook page.

In turn, the head of the Mejlis Refat Chubarov said that the Russian FSB has set the goal to completely isolate repressed Crimean Tatars from their defenders.

He said that Nikolai Polozov’s interrogation is conducted by two FSB investigators: Igor Skripka, who leads the case against Umerov, and Vladimir Shevchenko, a defector from the Security Service of Ukraine.

Polozov’s client Ilmi Umerov said on the air to Channel 112 that if Polozov will be deprived of the right to defend him, then there is a possibility that his defense will be headed by another Russian lawyer Mark Feigin. Umerov noted that there are local lawyers as well.


Translated by: A. N.

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  1. Avatar туфтуф says:

    Classified: Savchenko rotting in Russian prison. Her “role”played by a man called Bezrukov, an FSB agent.

    1. Avatar Quartermaster says:

      Drugged and stupid is no way to go through life Toto.

      1. Avatar туфтуф says:


  2. Avatar zorbatheturk says:

    RuSSkiys are scumballs. Is anyone surprised?

  3. Avatar Dirk Smith says:

    Once this third-world’s economy collapses this year, it needs to be dismembered like Yugoslavia. Muscovy, as history shows, is the cancer of humanity.

    1. Avatar Alex George says:

      I suspect it will just fall apart without needing outside help.

    2. Avatar Mick Servian says:

      hahaha but it won’t.
      Russia is not tiny Jugoslavia. People in the west don’t care or believe in your darth vader stories anymore.
      “history shows Moscow a cancer of humanity”…lol
      do you re-read your bs?
      nah one of the worlds grandest capitals, with a huge amount of exquisite history and arts, is a cancer to you? reeeeetaaard
      you should worry more about Ukraine, because it is being chopped up as we speak
      also maybe the US should be chopped up? most of it’s territory actually is third world.
      Why not chop one and the other, eh?

      1. Avatar Alex George says:

        Hahaha but it will.

        Russia is far more pathetic than Yugoslavia in its economy. And much of its culture and history is derived from Ukraine. It is hardly a grand capital – try visiting it.

        I have no idea where you get the idea that Ukraine “is being chopped up as we speak”. Where? Everything is the same as before – Russia is spending money it doesn’t have to maintain forces in Crimea and a tiny sliver of the Donbass, because without military force, Russian rule would collapse in an instant.

  4. Avatar Alex George says:

    Amazing how fearful the Kremlin regime in Crimea is – they do not even dare allow an accused to have a lawyer!

    1. Avatar Mick Servian says:

      this article has no objectivity at all, and no context. just the word of a lawyer, and we know what they do for a living.
      it is possible for a lawyer to cross the line(deliberately or not) and become a witness.
      it has happened numerous times in the west.
      they can get another lawyer.
      but good luck convincing those people to return to Ukraine, the acts of sabotage and sowing of racial tensions, really shows them how much you care for them.
      ban any entertainers from going there to liven things up for those poor people, sanction them with everything.
      but you must tell them, it’s not because of them, the US and vassal Ukraine love ze Crimeans, we only hate Darth Putin…

      1. Avatar Alex George says:

        Thank you for the rant, but once we look at reality, a rant is all you have.

        Moscow will never dare hold a proper vote in Crimea, because it knows that the people would vote strongly against being under Kremlin rule.

        The refusal to let an accused have a lawyer simply shows how fearful the Kremlin regime is.

  5. Avatar туфтуф says:

    They will all be freed if they are found not guilty. If one has to choose who Crimea should belong to, Russia or China, Russia had by far a better human rights record. In China, public executions are a rule, rather than exception. And they are carried out in the legally occupied Tibet too. On the other hand, if Russians sold Crimea to China, l am sure that it would grow faster economically. Ukraine is too poor to afford Crimea. And it is a spot of strategic importance to Russia. Status quo is best.