A human rights activist from St. Petersburg claims that he was thrown down the stairs by military commissariat employees


21 March 2024


Leonid Chaly came to that military commissariat to hand over some documents. At first, its employees didn’t allow him to enter the building, and then, according to Leonid, they threw him down the stairs. Subsequently, Mr. Chaly was diagnosed with a closed head injury and bruises.

21-year-old Leonid represents the interests of citizens in state agencies and courts. He walks with a cane due to an injury. On 26 January 2024, Leonid arrived at the building of the military commissariat of the Primorskiy district to submit documents in the interests of one of his clients. As Mr. Chaly recalls, there was a man standing near the entrance, presumably an employee of the commissariat, who did not want to let Leonid in, referring to the end of the receiving hours. Mr. Chaly insisted that he did not need a reception, because he only came to register a petition.

Finally, Mr. Chaly managed to enter the building; he went upstairs to the second floor, then a man in a vest with a «Russian Armed Forces» badge came out to meet him. Leonid says that the man attacked him.

«He pushed me down the stairs, I fell and hit my head, neck and back on the tiled steps. I remember quite vaguely what happened next. I suppose the elderly man dragged me down the stairs, holding me by the cloak I was wearing or by my hand. I tried to lean on a cane, but I couldn’t.»

Mr. Chaly recalls that he was dragged to the exit by two commissariat’s employees and thrown out the door, then the men went inside. Leonid was sitting on the porch, dizzy and nauseous. Subsequently, these two people who had kicked him out of the commissariat came out of the building to smoke, but they did not offer any aid. Leonid called the police several times and contacted the garrison prosecutor’s office. The police indicated they could arrive in about two hours, but Mr. Chaly was getting worse, so he called a taxi instead and went to the trauma center. The center’s doctors called an ambulance, and Leonid waited for it for more than three hours.

At the Elizavetinskaya hospital, where Leonid was finally taken, he underwent a CT brain scan and a chest X-ray. Doctors discovered soft tissue injuries to Leonid’s head and a chest contusion. The next day, during an examination at a private clinic, Mr. Chaly was also diagnosed with a closed craniocerebral injury.

Leonid filed the relevant crime reports with the prosecutor’s office, the Primorskiy district police department of St. Petersburg and the Investigative Committee. He also applied to the human rights defenders, who requested CCTV footage from the military commissariat, as well as information on the consideration of Mr. Chaly’s crime reports.

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