On the morning of 18 May, Moscow police arrested Mikhail Lobanov, a trade union activist at Moscow University, a left-wing activist and a doctor of mathematics. Mikhail Lobanov opposes the invasion of Ukraine, defends political prisoners and fights for labour and environmental rights.
His arrest is part of a prolonged campaign by the authorities against Mikhail Lobanov. On 7 June 2022, he was arrested by the police for his "No to war" banner and sentenced to 15 days in prison for his anti-war statements. Russian state propaganda media and pro-war Telegram channels launched a smear campaign against him. He and his wife, Alexandra Zapolskaya, were repeatedly harassed. On 29 December 2021, police forcibly entered their flat in Lobanov. He was beaten and detained for 15 days on charges of "disobeying the police". He has just been arrested again following another night-time police raid on his flat.
Mikhail Lobanova's legal representative stated that the raid was carried out by the police on the basis of two formal charges: "spreading false information about the army" and "justification of terrorism". These charges carry a prison sentence of up to 7 years.
The member organisations of the International Trade Union Solidarity and Struggle Network demand the release of Mikhail Lobanov, the end of pressure on him and Alexandra Zapolskaya, and the release of all political prisoners in Russia.