A district court in Yekaterinburg has determined that a SWAT team broke the law when it raided Vladimir Taushankov’s home on May 31, 2020, which resulted in his death. According to “Agora” human rights group head Pavel Chikov, citing attorney Alexey Bushmakov, the court ruled that the authorities violated criminal procedure search-and-seizure codes. Investigators never presented Taushankov with a search warrant and only issued the paperwork three hours after entering his home and shooting him.
Late on May 31, 2020, a SWAT team assembled outside the apartment of a man suspected of stealing several rolls of wallpaper at knifepoint. The suspect, 27-year-old Vladimir Taushankov, reportedly threatened the officers with a knife. Local investigators told the newspaper Novaya Gazeta that law enforcement then entered the man’s home using a spare set of keys. When they encountered Taushankov inside his home, the officers fired seven times, missing him with four bullets. Taushankov died at the scene.
On June 4, state investigators opened a case against the officers for abuse of force. One of the SWAT team members told Mediazona that Taushankov was holding a kitchen knife in one hand and a can of pepper spray in the other when officers opened fire.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has dismissed public concerns about the killing, pointing out that Taushankov threatened police officers with a knife.
Following Taushankov’s death, several right-wing political activists promoted the hashtag #RussianLivesMatter, hoping to hijack some of the energy that’s fueled the better-known Black Lives Matter movement.