Lev Skoryakin is a left-wing opposition activist who was reportedly abducted in Kyrgyzstan, most likely by special services. He was arrested by Russian police in Moscow on November 3, according to a Russian independent human rights organization.

Skoryakin’s attorney claims that the activist was tortured during his two weeks of incarceration in a Moscow prison facility. These events were recorded by the “Political Prisoners. Memorial” initiative, which revealed that Skoryakin—who had previously taken sanctuary in Kyrgyzstan—was allegedly kidnapped overnight on October 17 and taken to Russia the next day.

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Who is Lev Skoryakin?

Lev Skoryakin is a Russian left-wing activist and anarchist. In Russia, Skoryakin faces charges of armed “hooliganism” for taking part in a demonstration in 2021 with fellow activist Ruslan Abasov, in which they demonstrated against the Federal Security Service (FSB) using flare guns. Both were able to get out of Russia after more than six months in custody.

After Skoryakin was transferred from a Kyrgyz jail to Moscow on October 17, he was allegedly tortured at the Butyrka detention facility in Moscow. Memorial noted this, but they did not name the entity that moved the activist without her will.

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The “Political Prisoners. Memorial” initiative states that detention center employees asserted Skoryakin was not housed there. Furthermore, information about his whereabouts has not been shared by other Russian government agencies.

In 2021, Skoryakin and fellow anti-Kremlin activist Ruslan Abasov planned a demonstration in front of a Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters in Moscow. They lit road flares and put up a banner that said, “Happy Chekist Day,” referring to agents of the Soviet secret police as “chekists.”

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Skoryakin and Abasov were detained in Russia for 1.5 years after the protest. Later on, Skoryakin made his way to Kyrgyzstan. Skoryakin was added to a wanted list and detained in absentia by Russian law enforcement in February on suspicion of “unlawful behavior committed by a group of people using weapons.”