The Central District Military Court in Samara sentenced local activist Sergei Ryzhov to six years in a strict regime colony for preparing a terrorist attack and storing explosives. Earlier, the state prosecution requested 10.5 years of imprisonment for him.
Sergei Ryzhov, 37, studied at the physics department of Saratov State University, graduating with honors. He worked as a system administrator, participated in protests in Saratov, was a supporter of Vyacheslav Maltsev’s Artpodgotovka movement, which in September 2021 announced terrorist. Since 2015, Ryzhov has been an election observer, and in 2016 he was nominated for the city duma, but was not registered as a candidate.
On November 1, 2017, Ryzhov was detained in the apartment of his friend. The commandos entered the dwelling, throwing stun grenades through the window. During the search, FSB officers seized a TNT stick and several Molotov cocktails. On November 3, 2017, the Frunzensky District Court of Saratov arrested Ryzhov. Later he was transferred to the Lefortovo pre-trial detention center in Moscow.
Ryzhov was accused of preparing a terrorist act (part 1 of article 30 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation in conjunction with part 1 of article 205 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation) and illegal storage of explosives (part 1 of article 222.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). According to the investigation, he planned to commit an explosion and arson on the Theater Square of Saratov on November 4 and 5 during the events in honor of the Day of National Unity. He did not admit his guilt and claimed that all the items confiscated during the search had been planted on him.
In September 2017, another resident of Saratov, Fyodor Martynov, was detained. Our weapons are in his apartment. Martynov pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for illegal possession of ammunition, as well as storage and manufacture of explosives. Martynov also served as a witness in the Ryzhov case.
According to the lawyer, a certain agent who was introduced into the circles of Maltsev’s supporters also became the main witness in the Ryzhov case. He made recordings of their meetings on a dictaphone. The case also contains correspondence of activists on social networks. But, according to the lawyer, there are no instructions to prepare terrorist attacks.
In the pre-trial detention center, Sergei Ryzhov broke his hip neck. Trauma and the lack of qualified treatment (the arrested person was not even immediately diagnosed with the correct diagnosis) led to numerous complications, including deep vein thrombosis and pneumonia, said in a petition in defense of the accused. As the lawyer Svetlana Sidorkina said, Ryzhov, despite his condition, was forcibly taken to court and put in a wheelchair.