Russian penitentiary employees demand housing nationwide as Penitentiary Service calls their campaign a ‘provocation’
Former and current employees of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) have begun posting protest videos addressed to the agency’s leadership and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The videos say employees have been denied or kicked out of housing that was promised to them, leading them to launch a national campaign they call “The Homeless Regiment.” A video featuring FSIN employees from 30 regions of Russia is scheduled to be posted on December 11.
Yevgenia Maltseva, one of the campaign’s organizers, told the radio station Govorit Moskva that about 200,000 people are taking part in The Homeless Regiment and that some of them plan to picket the State Duma. They have said that housing stipends have been kept away from rank-and-file FSIN employees and their bosses have kicked them out of FSIN-provided housing nationwide while high-ranking officers have been granted the housing promised to them.
FSIN’s press service told the news agency Interfax that the Homeless Regiment campaign “is provocational in nature and does not express the actual state of affairs in terms of solving housing issues.” FSIN representatives said employees have only been kicked out of a single agency building but did not specify where the building was located.