Denis Bakholdin is a Russian who publicly opposed Russia’s aggression and occupation of part of Ukraine’s territory and criticized the policies of the Russian authorities. He lost his job because of his dissident views, and in 2014 alone was detained ten times during peaceful protests. He was threatened with criminal prosecution under the same draconian anti-protest norm (Article 212.1) used to imprison activist Ildar Dadin for some time. In late 2014, Denis left for Ukraine. In March 2017, he tried to return to Russia to see his mother, but was arrested in the Bryansk region.
He has been held ever since in a remand prison [SIZO] in Bryansk and is facing up to 6 years’ imprisonment on charges of taking part in ‘an extremist society’. The investigator is also threatening, without providing any evidence, to initiate charges of being a ‘mercenary’ with this carrying a sentence of up to ten and a half years.