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Regional investigators reject appeal for criminal case over deadly raid on Yekaterinburg man’s home


The Sverdlovsk region’s Investigative Committee branch has refused to launch a criminal case regarding the killing of Vladimir Taushankov, a Yekaterinburg man who was killed by National Guard officers during a raid at his home on May 31, 2020, reports. 

Taushankov’s parents submitted the request for the initiation of a criminal investigation into their son’s killing, but the Investigative Department in Sverdlovsk claimed that it had found no indication of a crime in the circumstances surrounding Taushankov’s death.

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.

At the same time, the [Investigative Committee] indicated that the arguments set forth in the appeal will be thoroughly verified during the investigation of the criminal case on robbery and violence against the security forces, in which the deceased, Vladimir Taushankov, appears as a suspect.

On June 25, a district court in Yekaterinburg ruled that the National Guard violated criminal procedure search-and-seizure codes during the raid on Taushankov’s home. Investigators never presented Taushankov with a search warrant and only issued the paperwork three hours after National Guard officers entered his home and shot him.

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.

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