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Students Detained at Moscow University

The Finnish-Russian Civic Forum (FINROSFORUM) promotes cooperation between the peoples of Finland and Russia by supporting civic initiatives for democracy, human rights, and free speech.




Several journalism students were detained for posing awkward questions to Russia’s placeholder president, Dmitry Medvedev, during his visit to Moscow University. Opposition-minded students were not allowed to attend lessons during Medvedev’s visit. Kremlin’s youth affairs commissar, Vasily Yakemenko, arrived in Medvedev’s entourage, flanked by members of his Nashi movement.

Among those detained was Vera Kichanova, who is a contributor to Novaya Gazeta, one of Russia’s last remaining independent newspapers. She was detained after holding up a poster that read, “Why are you spending your time on Twitter while Khodorkovsky is in jail?” Another girl asked Medvedev: “Have you asked permission from your prime minister to meet us?” Both were detained.

According to some reports, Medvedev witnessed the detention of one of the girls. Opposition leader Denis Bilunov reported that all of the detained students, including Vera Kichanova, Ekaterina Polichenkova, Olga Kuzmenko, and four others, were taken to Moscow’s Arbat district police station. Vera Kichanova confirmed by text message that they were being held at the police station.




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