Skip to content

Russia indicts Turku resident for anti-war demonstration in Finland

Petr Trofimov tells Yle that he received an invitation to court in St. Petersburg, despite living permanently in Finland having not travelled to Russia for years.

Petr Trofimov demonstrated in front of the Russian consulate in Turku on July 12, 2022. Trofimov is on the right side of the picture. Image: Petr Trofimovin arkisto / Личный архив Перта Трофимова

Turku-based activist Petr Trofimov has been charged in Russia under Article 20.2 of the country's Administrative Code, according to a Facebook post (siirryt toiseen palveluun) from the group Free Russians Global.

The article deals with disorderly conduct at demonstrations and is currently Russia's main instrument for prosecution participants and organisers of demonstrations.

Trofimov confirmed to Yle Novosti that he received a summons from a St. Petersburg court, even though he permanently lives in Finland and has not been to Russia for several years.

"My passport shows that I left [Russia] on 8 November 2019 and there is no entry stamp," Trofimov said.

Trofimov regularly organises demonstrations and participates in anti-war protests in Finland. According to the activist, he is being tried as one.

"My lawyer will look at the documents tomorrow and I will know more then. But in Russia, going to a judge usually means a guilty verdict," the activist said.

One of the most recent protests organised by Trofimov was to leave "price tags" in Lappeenranta supermarkets. The "price tag" leaflets are about the war in Ukraine and Russia's crackdown on dissidents.

These were directed at Russian tourists and Russians living in Finland shopping in the city close to the border, showing them the real cost of the war. The action had been authorised by the police.

The "new price tag" in Lappeenranta's Prisma is aimed at Russian tourists and Russians living in Finland. Image: Petr Trofimovin arkisto / Личный архив Перта Трофимова