«They stepped on my hands and struck me in the head.» After a week, no investigation has been opened into the actions of the state agents who detained the RUSNEWS journalist near the home of Antonina Favorskaya


04 April 2024


On 27 March 2024, the law enforcers arrested the SotaVision journalist Antonina Favorskaya. Late in the evening, searches took place in her apartment. Her colleagues, including the RUSNEWS journalist Konstantin Zharov, came to Antonina’s home to cover what was happening. Mr. Zharov notes that the state agents did not like the fact that the journalists were walking around the building, and after a dialogue with a man in a balaclava, Konstantin was thrown to the ground and beaten.

On 28 March, at 1 a.m., Konstantin Zharov and other journalists arrived at Ms. Favorskaya’s house, where she was brought for a search. As Konstantin recalls, there were a lot of law enforcers, so the journalists went to look around so as not to come into conflict with the agents. At some point, someone suddenly grabbed Mr. Zharov’s backpack and pulled him back; it appeared to be a man in a balaclava and body armor. Konstantin claims that the man demanded him to produce an ID, and in response, Mr. Zharov asked to indicate what laws he had violated.

Mr. Zharov recalls the following: «At that moment, a man in civilian clothes approached us, and both men began calling us drug addicts, shining a flashlight in our eyes. The balaclava man suddenly grabbed me, pinned me against the grating of the building’s basement and started hitting my legs in the ankle area to put me “in a stretch.»

According to Konstantin, he was required to show the contents of his backpack and unlock his phone; Mr. Zharov refused to do so. Then one of the agents hit him, and Konstantin fell to the ground.

«He kicked me in the lower back, and then pressed my head hard against the asphalt, placing his knee or foot on my face. He pressed me into the pavement so hard that at some point I lost any orientation. Subsequently, he stepped on my left hand and struck me in the head. All this time I shouted “don’t hit me, it hurts, I’ll show you everything

As Mr. Zharov indicates, after these words, the men stopped beating him and allowed him to get up and sit on the parapet. Konstantin asked to call an ambulance, but the law enforcers rejected his demand. Almost immediately, some police officers in uniforms approached them; as Mr. Zharov recalls, for some time, the officers were brainstorming about the reasons for his detention. As a result, Konstantin and another journalist, who stood aside with a policeman during the conflict, were put into a car and taken to the police station. Mr. Zharov notes that their passport details were copied there; the policemen even made excuses, stating that their department was not involved in the ill-treatment. The journalists were not charged with any violations and were eventually allowed to go to the hospital. Doctors diagnosed Konstantin with a bruise of the soft tissues of the head, a sprain of the ligaments of the left shoulder and fingers, as well as abrasions on his body.

Both in the hospital and the police department, Mr. Zharov claimed that he had been beaten by state agents; this information was also published in a number of media outlets. However, after a week, no one from the investigative bodies called Konstantin. The lawyers, who represent his interests, filed a crime report with the Investigative Committee; they also lodged a petition before the Police Internal Security Department, asking to conduct an internal inquiry.

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