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‘An artist, not a soldier’ Plainclothes officers arrested war protester Daniil Shershnev. Hours later, they sent him to a military base.

Source: Meduza

Plainclothes officers in Moscow arrested 23-year-old artist and war critic Daniil Shershnev, his girlfriend Ekaterina told the independent media outlet Holod.

According to Shershnev’s friends, people in plainclothes who referred to themselves as criminal investigation representatives detained Shershnev on the evening of November 28 at the entrance to his apartment building. When Shershnev told the officers that their actions were illegal, they allegedly threatened him, warning, “If you don’t come on your own, we’ll […] force you.”

According to Ekaterina, Shershnev isn’t registered for Russia’s draft and doesn’t have a military ID. Nonetheless, after arresting him, the officers took Shershnev to a military commissariat and then to a conscript distribution point. Shershnev’s mother and lawyer came to the distribution point but weren’t allowed to see him, while Shershnev himself wasn’t given a chance to provide a health status certificate or contact any relatives. According to lawyer Arseny Levinson, who is working with Shershnev’s family, Shershnev has an ulcerative disease.

After several hours, Shershnev was sent to a military base in Russia’s Tver region to perform required military service, Ekaterina said. According to Shershnev’s friends, he was sent to serve as part of the Railway Troops.

Shershnev himself, who managed to reach his loved ones on the way to the base, accuses military commissariat workers of falsifying required documents, writing in his signature themselves.

“Daniil is our friend. He’s a person and an artist, not a soldier, and not only would he not have chosen this due to his convictions, but also because of his health status,” the Kruzhok art laboratory, which Shershnev belonged to, said in a statement.

In February, after the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Shershnev posted a photograph on Instagram of himself in a sweatshirt with the word “Russia” printed on it along with several other words he had written in himself: “Russia is subhuman. Russia, imprisonment, misery, enslavement.”

In the same post, Shershnev called the war “bullshit” and urged others to distribute information about what is happening in Ukraine. He promised to donate the proceeds from selling the sweatshirt to Ukrainians who have suffered from Russia’s invasion.

After the reports of Shershnev’s arrest appeared, the post was deleted.

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