Copyright © 2021

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Number of political prisoners in Russia doubled

Number of political prisoners in Russia doubled

Since June 2014, the number of political prisoners in Russia has doubled from 92 to 181, according to the Netherlands-based Human Rights Initiative for the former USSR. Furthermore, over the past four months the number has increased by almost 60%.

Portraits of some of the political prisoners. Full album here:


On March 16, 2015, the Human Rights Initiative has published the fourth edition of it’s List of Political Prisoners in Russia, containing the names of persons who have either been sentenced for political or religious reasons or are currently under criminal investigation for these reasons. A previous list, published four months ago, consisted of 114 names of such prisoners. The youngest prisoner was born in 1995; the oldest in 1937. Among the prisoners are 20 women.

Click to enlarge

The main part of the current group of political prisoners consists of persons who were arrested for voicing their oppositional views. Among the political prisoners are a growing number of foreigners, mainly Ukrainian activists from the annexed Crimea who were arrested for actions opposing the annexation of the Crimea or in defense of Crimean Tatars. Among the foreigners are also the Estonian counter-intelligence officer Eston Kohver, who was kidnapped from Estonian territory, and the Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who recently renewed her hunger strike and as of March 18 is on day 85, being held in a Moscow prison.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

The Human Rights Initiative for the former USSR calls on Western governments to resume the practice of confronting Russian authorities with the List of Political Prisoners during meetings on all levels, a practice that was common in Soviet times and helped to secure the release of many political prisoners.

The full list can be downloaded at

You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Related Posts