Free Papa Misha - In support of a political prisoner Mikhail Kavun

Free Papa Misha - In support of a political prisoner Mikhail Kavun

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Aleksei Kavun started this petition

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My Ukrainian Jewish father Mikhail Kavun is now suffering due to unjust persecution from the Russian authorities. I hope you can sign a petition for drawing more attention to the case. It could help to save my innocent father from unfounded accusations and unlawful imprisonment. Most importantly, it would save him from tortures, which are common in Russian jails, and from the strongest punishment in this case - 8 years of imprisonment.

You can read a full story at PoliticoNovaya Gazeta.Europe, Mediazona, don't forget to use Google browser auto-translation to English, and VPN if you are based in Russia or Ukraine. Below you can find my detailed story of the case.

My father, Mikhail Kavun, 61 years old, has been brutally arrested on April 18th over a false accusation of supporting and financing a Ukrainian far-right organization that is designated “extremist” in Russia. As you may know, throughout the years, Russian government has labelled and banned an array of the organizations in an attempt to turn the society against so called “hostile West that poses the existential threat to Russia, both directly and through our neighbors”, and even Meta ended up in the list of “extremists”. Moreover, my father is accused of being motivated for this support by “racist hatred” and “supremacy of one person's race over another one”. 

Immediately after a brutal arrest, a smear campaign has been launched against him (izvestiya, rambler, tass, gazeta, the list goes on) offering all kinds of speculation none of which is true:

· He has been supporting Ukrainian far-right “neo-Nazi” group Praviy Sector – in fact, my father is Ukrainian Jew, and we have a complete list of documents to prove that. Small part of that could be found here, in the statement of Mikhail's lawer Dmitry Zakhvatov. Needless to say, that his Jewish heritage prevents him from sympathizing with any organization of such nature.

· He was sponsoring Praviy Sector for almost 5 years, from Jan 1st 2015 to Dec 25th 2019, in total of approximately USD 2,000 – this is a part of the official indictment. The charges are based on the testimony of a single witness, Pirozhok I. N., a Ukrainian citizen who has criminal record both in Ukraine and Russia. He is now serving a term in Russia and there is a reason to believe that he testified under pressure.

· He is a member of a secret extremist nazi-zionist organization Zhidobandera – not sure how one can seriously comment on this, really. The “evidence” of that is a photo of him you can see here in the T-shirt with an internet meme on it, and this information was shared in Telegram channel of V. Solovyov, the most known Russian propagandist with 1.14 million followers.

· His support of Praviy Sector was motivated not only by “racial hatred” but also a desire to suppress the Russian-speaking population in Ukraine – his native language is Russian, and he is married to a Russian woman.

What is in fact true is that my father loves Ukraine, he recognizes himself as Ukrainian, he has been in Ukraine many times, has lots of friends there and indeed occasionally supported some of them financially, which is obviously not against any law.

It’s absolutely clear that such absurd claims cannot be explained as an unfortunate mistake. This is a deliberate and blatant lie and a part of the government’s effort to further intimidate Russian society and drive wedges between the two related Slavic nations by playing a Nazi card. The same pretext they have been using to justify this heinous war. This criminal case is well-aligned with Russia’s propagandistic trends of anti-Ukrainian and anti-Semitic nature. The Russian government tries to make Russian people believe in nazi-zionist conspiracy theory in order to justify the war against “the fascist regime” led by the Ukrainian President V. Zelensky who has Jewish roots.

This trend is also well-aligned with the position of the Russian officials, i.e., recently Sergey Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated that: "I could be wrong, but Hitler also had Jewish blood. [That Zelensky is Jewish] means absolutely nothing. Wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews."

It's worth mentioning that for the last 13 years my father has been working full-time as a senior geologist at Schlumberger, he also holds a PhD in Geological and mineralogical sciences, and he is a free biker well-known both in Ukraine and Russia. My father is an intelligent person, a highly skilled specialist, has a great personality, and it completely contradicts his accusation of being racist and extremist.

My father is a very free man. Free of prejudice, free of hatred, free of fear of getting into jail for lending a helping hand to people in need in Ukraine. Even if he is behind bars now, he is more free than millions of Russians who are now cheering in front of their TVs while seeing another "Ukrainian Nazi" captured by the police or killed on the battlefield.

Last but not least, my father has diabetes of 2nd type and other medical conditions, and for the last days we don't know if he is allowed to take the medications left for him in jail by his wife.

You can reach me at kavunalexei@gmail.com.

Please sign a petition in support and freedom of my father and Ukraine.

Glory to Ukrainre and to my father Misha.

Aleksei Kavun

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