Kirill Ukraintsev made a great contribution to the development of the independent trade union movement in the Russian Federation. In June 2020, he became chairman of the Courier trade union. Kirill managed to organize more than 300 couriers, laying the foundation of a trade union that fights for its rights to this day. The first result of the union of couriers into a trade union was the full payment of salary debts under the threat of a strike.

Thanks to Kirill’s actions in June 2020, Delivery Club couriers learned to defend their interests in the legal field in an organized manner in front of the employer instead of spontaneous discontent. Time after time companies we had to cancel all new ways of saving on couriers. An important milestone in the struggle for their rights was the strike and negotiations with the leadership in November 2020. During these negotiations, the Courier trade union was again able to roll back the measures taken to tighten the system of fines. Manual in the person of Vladimir Gabrielyan, seeing the mass nature of the strike, agreed with the position of the trade union. However, the victory was overshadowed by the beating of the co-chairman of the Courier trade union, Said Shamkhalov. Said was detained immediately after the rally near the office , they were beaten in a paddy wagon and drew up a protocol under Article 20.2 of Part 5 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation. On November 3, a protocol was drawn up under Article 20.2 of Part 2 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation (violation of the established procedure for organizing or holding a meeting, rally, demonstration, march or picketing). It is significant that when the workers, instead of a spontaneous rally, began to act in an organized and legal manner, they quickly had to face lawlessness in relation to themselves.

Kirill’s own problems began after his repost from the public «Left Bloc» — «to attend an open court session on the sensational case of Azat Miftakhov.» Azat’s trial was scheduled to take place on January 11, 2021. That day Kirill was near the courthouse as a journalist. At the same time, Kirill was detained for orientation, allegedly because of shoplifting. However, immediately after the arrest, the story with the orientation is completely forgotten, and he is taken to court, where they try to open a case under Article 20.2 of Part 5 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation for participating in an “unauthorized” rally. This case was dismissed by the court, but on February 9, 2021, Kirill was arrested again and tried for 5 days on the administrative case of Part 2 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation. The minutes of the meeting say that Ukrainians on January 10 on their VKontakte page “carried out an appeal to an indefinite circle of citizens to participate in an uncoordinated action” at the Golovinsky court in Moscow. Kirill received 5 days by making a repost and attending an open court session as a journalist.

Perhaps it was the call to an open court session and participation in it as a journalist that became the trigger for the institution of the following administrative cases, the most resonant of which was the court on September 14, 2021. Kirill was tried under the same article — Part 2 of Article 20.2 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation, but this time for calling to come (a post on an Instagram account) to another open court hearing in the case of Azat Mifstakhov dated October 20, 2020. The prosecution somehow found a post almost a year ago, and the court sentenced Kirill to 10 days of arrest for this post.

In the evening of April 25, 2022, on Kirill’s birthday and during the next strike of couriers, his house was searched, computer equipment was seized and taken under arrest. The lawyer who arrived at the place was forbidden to be present during the search. On April 27, a court was held where Kirill was charged under Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation — «repeated violation of the procedure for holding mass events» — and sent to jail until June 25, 2022. The decision on detention in the pre-trial detention center has not been published, which in itself is a gross violation. It is there that there should be a justification why the election of a preventive measure by the court against Kirill does not correspond to the severity of the imputed offense. And this is far from the only question both to the arrest of Kirill himself and to Article 212.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (popularly called “Dadinsky”).

Kirill laid the foundation for an independent, organized and legal trade union movement in the Russian Federation. The IT Workers’ Union is based on the same principles and appreciates Kirill’s contribution. We believe that there are gross violations in Kirill’s case, therefore we demand an objective investigation and a change in the preventive measure to a subscription not to leave.

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