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Police beat and arrest Moscow State University professor Mikhail Lobanov

Mikhail Lobanov, a professor in Moscow State University’s Department of Mechanics and Mathematics, was jailed for 15 days for non-compliance with police. The news was posted by a third party on Lobanov’s Telegram channel. Lobanov himself said that police beat him while searching his apartment.

The search took place on the morning of December 29. Police sawed Lobanov’s apartment door open, after which they spoke with the professor for more than three hours. Lobanov’s wife, Alexandra Zapolskaya, said that during the search police acted with “unwarranted cruelty,” not allowing Lobanov to speak with a lawyer, and demanding that he sign various documents.

Police removed all electronic equipment from the apartment and took Lobanov into the Ramenki District police station. There, his lawyer was not allowed in for more than four hours.

Lobanov later reported that he was beaten in the face and chest during the search, and charged with non-compliance with a police officer. A photo from his apartment is published on his Telegram channel — it allegedly shows a blood stain.

A post from Lobanov’s Telegram channel, showing a blood stain on the floor of his apartment.

Former Municipal Deputy Alexander Zamyatin reported that Lobanov was taken to the Nikulinsky District Court, where he was sentenced to 15 days in jail. Zamyatin clarified that this arrest was unrelated to the case for which Lobanov’s apartment was searched. There is no official information about what other case Lobanov is involved in.

A post on Lobanov’s Telegram channel claims that, during the apartment search, an investigator mentioned the name of former State Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev, suggesting that the current cause could be connected to a case against Ponomarev concerning “fakes” about the Russian army. Searches related to the Ponomarev case were carried out in seven Russian regions on December 29.

In 2021, Lobanov ran for a seat in the State Duma with the backing of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. As of the morning after Election Day, Lobanov led his opponent, television host Yevgeny Popov, by 10,500 votes. However in the final results, which took into account electronic votes, Popov came out ahead, beating Lobanov by 8,000 votes. Lobanov said the election results were the result of wide-scale fraud.

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