Moscow court orders domestic violence victim to pay ex-husband damages over Facebook post
On Thursday, August 27, a Moscow court ordered Irina Zhivova to pay her ex-husband approximately 10,000 rubles ($135). Her ex, Evgeny Zhivov — the former deputy head of the investment company Alfa Capital, — had filed a claim against her after she accused him of domestic violence.
“By the order of the judge, I infringed upon Zhenya’s ‘honor and dignity’ and it costs ₽10,300 🤷♀️,” she wrote on Facebook, after Moscow’s Nikulinsky District Court partially granted her ex-husband’s claim.
In a video message (published on human rights defender Alena Popova’s Facebook page), lawyer Viktoria Dergunova said that Irina Zhivova was ordered to pay the money because she used the phrase “inflict a beating” in a Facebook post about domestic violence.
“The court issued a precedent-setting decision for Russia, for all victims of domestic violence in Russia, saying that you don’t have the right to talk about the fact that you were beaten, until you receive an appropriate judicial decision on it,” Viktoria Dergunova said.
The court’s website confirms that Evgeny Zhivov’s claim against his ex-wife was partially granted, but the judge’s decision has yet to be made public.
In a Facebook post on October 20, 2019, Irina Zhivova explained that her ex-husband had “broken” into the house where she lived with her two daughters, and “frightened [and] beat up everyone.” She uploaded screenshots of two protocols for battery written up against her ex-husband. The documents say that Zhivov “pushed and shook” both his ex-wife and both of their daughters, and “grabbed [them] by the arms,” resulting in contusions, abrasions, and bruises. The protocol says that Evgeny Zhivov claims he isn’t guilty. He told the Telegram-based news outlet Baza that he had come to visit his children, who his wife had allegedly kept from him for four months.
Five days after his ex-wife’s statement, Evgeny Zhivov left Alfa Capital, where he had worked since 2010. “Alfa Capital shares family values and considers all manifestations of violence unacceptable,” the company said, without specifying if Zhivov was fired or left of his own accord.
In September 2019, Moscow’s Nikulinsky Court ruled that the couple’s two daughters should live with their father. According to Irina Zhivova, the Moscow City Court “reversed the obscurantist decision” on August 26, and ruled that the children should live with their month. The Moscow City Court’s website says that the judge decided to partially overturn the Nikulinsky District Court’s decision and adopt a new one.
Translation by Eilish Hart