A penultimate court hearing in the criminal case against Chanysheva was held in the capital of Bashkortostan, Ufa, on May 29. The verdict will be announced at 11:00 a.m. on June 14. A state prosecutor previously demanded 12 years in prison for the politician on charges of extremism and creating an organization that violates citizens’ privacy and rights.
Chanysheva did not admit guilt in her final statement, published online by Navalny’s team, saying that she had been doing her job as a politician and plans to continue fighting corruption and lawlessness in Russia.
The Insider publishes Lilia Chanysheva's translated final statement in full:
“My criminal case is a political one. That's why I don't feel like a defendant. I am a politician, a woman who is persecuted by her male opponents. Their names are [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and [Head of the Republic of Bashkortostan Radiy] Khabirov.
Being a politician is also a profession. So admitting guilt to me is like a teacher admitting [that] she is a teacher and a doctor admitting [that] she is a doctor.
I am not alone in politics. As I said, there are opponents. So [in order] judge my activities, it's important to know the context. So here it is.
It was under [Radiy] Khabirov that civil activists and environmentalists in Bashkortostan began to be attacked, the regional public organization ‘Bashkort’ was declared extremist, politician [Airat] Dilmukhametov was jailed, [Anton] Orlov, chairman of the union of medical workers, the lawyer [Alexander] Voitsekh was arrested, and the MP [Dmitry] Chuvilin was arrested. It became unsafe for everyone in [Bashkortostan], as Khabirov used methods of force against women who were expressing their civic stance.
Compare our actions: petitions, publicity, complaints, participation in peaceful rallies and public hearings. But in response, they subject us to surveillance, searches, kidnappings, arrests, imprisonment, they forcibly remove us from public hearings, throw paint on our cars, file lawsuits worth millions in compensation for the wages of police officers who work at our rallies.
Meanwhile, Khabirov continually tries to sell Bashkortostan’s environmental sites to oligarchs, closes hospitals and underpays doctors, scams public procurement, and forces the residents of the republic to overpay for housing and utilities.
When I was getting ready for my ‘final statement’, I read the ‘last words’ of ten people. Here are their names: Yevgeny Roizman, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Dmitry Ivanov, Alexei Gorinov, Andrei Pivovarov, Ivan Safronov, Vladimir Vorontsov, Yuri Zhdanov, Ilya Yashin and, of course, Alexei Navalny.
These are all strong and intelligent men whom Putin has managed to convict in the year and a half that I have been in prison. But Putin has not spared women either: the journalist [Maria] Ponomarenko was given 6 years in prison, the artist [Sasha] Skochilenko is awaiting trial, the theatrical figures [Evgenia] Berkovich and [Svetlana] Petriichuk are being prosecuted, the artist [Yulia] Tsvetkova has been tried for several years, and the politician [Yulia] Galiamina has been neutralized. And how many more names of talented and courageous women, who were put in jail for their position, remain unknown.
And after all this, former Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev sits in a legal forum and laughs at the fact that there are less than 25% women in the Russian government, unlike the Egyptian government. Does this mean that there is no place for women in politics in our country? Or does access to this profession depend on political views? Isn't that discrimination? And have the men in power decided to add bars on the windows to our glass ceiling as well?
The violation of my political rights and the rights of my fellow citizens is consistent. This shows that Putin has long wanted to eradicate any dissent and create a hostile environment between the people and the government for the sole purpose of keeping power in 2024. But Putin is corruption, low wages and pensions, a falling economy and rising prices. Putin is war! And it’s already affected everyone!
Putin is corruption, low wages and pensions, a falling economy and rising prices. Putin is war! And it’s already affected everyone!
Answer the question: are you living better now than you were ten years ago? Is it easier for you to shop than it was ten years ago? Do you feel safer than you did ten years ago? If your answer is no, take action and you can make a difference.
Your Honor! To me, you are not only a judge, but you are my constituency. During the trial, I told you about my successes. Support me as a politician, as a woman, and I will do everything I can to rid you of the illegal pressure of the executive branch. I will continue to fight corruption and lawlessness in our republic.
Your Honor! You are not only a judge and a voter, but, as the trial has shown, you are a person with a position of your own. If you put me in jail for 12 years, I will not have time to give birth to a child. Give me a chance to be a mother.
Chanysheva is accused of inciting extremism, creating an extremist community, and propagating the activities of a noncommercial organization that violates citizens’ privacy and rights. She was arrested in Ufa in November 2021, after which she was sent to Moscow. In February 2023, Chanysheva was transferred back to Ufa.
Chanysheva's trial, which started on March 1, is being held behind closed doors.
On March 22, a witness for the prosecution testifying in Chanysheva's trial claimed she was kidnapped by the police, who tried to recruit her.
Amnesty International has urged Russian authorities to release Chanysheva “immediately,” insisting that the extremism charges are “false” and should be dropped.
Alexei Navalny has been in prison since February 2021, after he was arrested the month prior after returning to Russia from Germany, where he had been undergoing treatment for a near-fatal poisoning with a Novichok-type nerve agent that he says was ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin has denied any role in Navalny's poisoning.