Minecraft case

Kansk is a city with a population of 90,000 in Siberia, Russia. Three boys arrested in 2020, accused of plotting a terrorist attack. According to the charges, they were, among other things, planning to build the headquarters of the Russian security service FSB in Minecraft, and to blow it up there. During the Soviet Era, the FSB had different names, the last before the disintegration of the Soviet union being FSB.

Nikita and Denis were arrested after they spread posters demanding the release of anarchist and mathematician Azat Miftakhov, arrested in Moscow. One of the posters was posted on the local FSB building in Kansk. Denis and Nikita were also planning to organize a Food Not Bombs event in Kansk to give food to the homeless.

Nikita and Denis were already arrested in June in 2020, but information about the case only started being spread in November 2020, when Novaya Gazeta and online media platform Baza published articles about the case. This is mostly based on an article by Evgeniya Tamarchenko, published in The Insider online media platform, in January 2021.

Nikita and Denis have known each other since kindergarten. Bogdan Andreev was also arrested at the same time. He is studying in a parallel class, and all three became friends with each other during junior high. Bogdan was placed under house arrest, not allowed to use phone or Internet.

All three are charged with ”studying in order to carry out a terrorist attack,” and ”membership and founding of a terrorist organization.” With these charges, adults would spend in prison at least 15 years, up to a jail sentence. Because Denis, Nikita and Bogdan are underage, maximum sentence is 10 years in prison. In Russia, the lower limit for criminal responsibility is 14 years old. In the Krasnoyarsk region, the FSB has arrested several 14-year-olds soon after their birthdays.

Investigators lied and manipulated Denis and Bogdan in order for to get them to admit to preparing a terrorist attack, for example by promising that they would not be charged with a terrorist attack if they confessed the charges. This promise was of course broken, and these two boys retracted their false confessions. Nikita did not confess to anything, and did not accuse Denis and Bogdan. Nikita believes, that main responsibility is on the investigators, who manipulated Denis and Bogdan to give a testimony against him.

Nikita's mother believes that the arrest of her son is also due to his teacher's attitude. In October 2019 Nikita's mother was invited to a school discussion, where she was told that Nikita is interested in anarchism, and is watching a TV series about anarchist Cossack Nestor Makhno. The teacher mentioned that ”perhaps they are preparing a terrorist attack" and "we must get this under control.” At the request of prosecutor, Nikita's teacher, Sofia Polychuk wrote a negative personal statement about Nikita's character, which was used as a basis for his remand. The school's social worker would have written a positive characterization about Nikita, but she was banned by the principal. The remand decision cites that ”according to the school's principal, Nikita considers school a hostile environment, he does not react adequately to his teachers' instructions, does not develop mutual understanding, refuses to follow the norms and rules of society.”

On February 10, 2022, a military court in the Krasnoyarsk territory sentenced one of the defendants, 16-year-old Nikita, to five years in prison. The two other defendants in the case received suspended sentences.

The support campaign website kanskdelo.com currently only has updates in Russian, but in the future it may also host materials in English.


You may also donate for the prisoners via Paypal of ABC Moscow at abc-msk@riseup.net. and include message “for Minecraft case.”

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Krasnoyarskiy kray