Russian law enforcement officers searched the homes of Sergei Trutnev, a lawyer for the Memorial international human rights organization, and journalist Oksana Asaulenko in Perm, as reported in a post on Memorial's official Telegram channel.
Asaulenko, whose mobile phone was seized during the searches, indicated that the raids were conducted in connection with a criminal case against Sergei Ukhov — the former coordinator of Alexei Navalny's Perm headquarters and founder of the opposition Telegram channel Perm 36.6. Ukhov is suspected of issuing “public calls for actions against the security of the state” (Article 280.4 of Russia’s Criminal Code).
Local activist Valentin Murzaev's home was also searched, with law enforcement confiscating equipment and interviewing Murzaev in connection with Ukhov's case. According to Murzaev, his last interaction with Sergei Ukhov occurred 5 to 6 years ago.
On July 13 this year, Sergei Ukhov was added to Russia's nationwide wanted list. He is unaware of the specific criminal case for which he is being sought, and is currently outside Russia. The profile about the activist contains a contact number for reporting any details related to his case. Ukhov dialed the number, reached Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), introduced himself, and asked what they wanted to know about him. The FSB officer then declined to communicate with Ukhov over the phone, instead suggesting that he return to Russia.
Memorial is an international human rights organization established in Russia after the Soviet Union's collapse, initially investigating human rights abuses and crimes during Joseph Stalin's rule. Over time, its research expanded to encompass the entire Soviet era.
Before its dissolution by a Russian court order in March 2022, Memorial comprised two distinct entities: International Memorial documented crimes against humanity from the Soviet period, notably during Stalin's era, while the Memorial Human Rights Center focused on safeguarding human rights — especially in conflict zones near modern Russia. A diverse movement rather than a singular structure, by December 2021, Memorial encompassed over 50 organizations within Russia and 11 in other countries, such as Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and France.
In 2022, Memorial was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with Belarusian human rights activist Ales Bialiatski and the Ukrainian Center for Civil Liberties.