14-year-old interrogated by Security Services for wearing Ukrainian ribbons
A 14-year-old student from Saratov, a city in the southwest of Russia, has been called in for questioning by the Russian Federal Security Service after she attended a rally celebrating Russia's annexation of Crimea wearing ribbons the color of the Ukrainian flag in her hair.
During the interrogation, Federal Security Services wanted to know how she met the other young people who brought Ukrainian national symbols to the rally with them. The interrogators allegedly aimed to get her to confess that she was paid to wear the ribbons.
The student, whose name has not been disclosed, claims that she attended the rally to demonstrate “against war, aggression and propaganda” and wanted to show her support for Ukraine. She told the online media source Iod that during the interrogation she had a nervous breakdown, and said that afterwards she felt crushed. She was not formally charged.
The last thing that I want to say is this: the situation reminds me of the novel 1984 by George Orwell. The same pressure from the state, from law enforcement officers, the same kind of one-directional influence over the people. I’m small, but I’m tough, and still, I’m not sure I’m ready for these kinds of consequences. I need to think about this.
On March 18, rallies took place across Russia commemorating the one-year anniversary of Crimea’s annexation by Russia. About ten people came to the rally held in Saratov with national symbols of Ukraine, including young people. Some of them were detained by police.