At 5.55 p.m., as people tried to move through the narrow gap between the police cordon and the waterfront to reach Bolotnaya Square, the police line moved two steps forward, further pressing the crowd. This in turn generated a counter response from the crowd, and protesters began pushing back. In several places, the police cordon broke, and a few dozen people found themselves in the empty space behind the first police line. It is impossible to determine whether the breaking of the cordon was the result of conscious action by sections of the crowd or if the police cordon simply broke due to the pressure from such a large number of people. Some of those who made it past the police lines were young men, but there were also many elderly citizens and others who did not resemble street fighters. Those who found themselves behind the police cordon did not act in an aggressive manner but appeared to move towards the entrance to the Bolotnaya [park], the supposed rally point.
Different demonstrators reacted very differently to the breaking of the police line. Some tried to move away, others called for people to break the cordon, while some tried to restrain the crowd from [trampling on] those who were still taking part in the sit-down protest. As pressure and tension grew, the sit-down protesters stood up rather than risk being trampled. There was a high degree of confusion, and people were not clear on what was happening.
Just after the breaking of the police cordon at approximately at 6 p.m., a single Molotov cocktail was thrown from the crowd. It landed behind the police ranks and ignited the trousers of… a 74 year old demonstrator who had passed through the cordon. The police used their fire extinguishers to put out the fire. This was the only such incident recorded during the day…
Soon after the cordons were broken, the authorities began to detain those who remained behind the police lines, taking them to special holding areas. The police also arrested some protesters at the front of the crowd who had not tried to break the cordon. The police cordon was fully restored after about four minutes.
At 6.10 p.m., Sergey Udaltsov, Alexey Navalny and Boris Nemtsov managed to walk from the Udarnik cinema to the stage at the waterfront followed by a large number of people. A police cordon blocked access to the stage, but they were allowed through. As they tried to start the rally, the police intervened… the OMON officers then detained Sergey Udaltsov on stage and shortly afterwards detained Boris Nemtsov and Alexey Navalny as well. By 6.50 p.m. the organizers began to disassemble the stage.
In the two hours between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., the demonstration was marked by two distinct types of activity. For much of the time, demonstrators and the police stood face to face without much happening. These moments were interspersed with periods when the police advanced and the crowd moved back. There does not appear to have been any clear reason for the police decision to advance other than to divide the crowd up into smaller sections. More than anything, the police advances served to raise tensions and provoke some members of the crowd to push back. There is little evidence that demonstrators initiated the violence. Rather, they appear to have become aggressive only in response to the authorities’ advances.
During these interchanges some protesters threw objects at the police, and the police used their batons freely. The crowd threw plastic bottles, shoes and umbrellas…
At around 6.20 p.m. the police announced that the rally was cancelled and asked protesters to disperse. The police used a loudspeaker to state, “Dear citizens, we earnestly ask you not to disturb public order! Otherwise, in accordance with the law, we will have to use force! Please, leave here, and do not stop. Go to the metro.” Although the police used a loudspeaker, the announcement was not loud enough to reach the majority of the crowd. It is likely that only those nearest to the loudspeakers could have heard the call to disperse.
There was confusion over the police demands because at the same time… Colonel Birukov, head of the Moscow Interior Department’s press service, told a group of human rights defenders (including Vladimir Lukin, Dmitri Oreshkin, Victor Davydov and Nikolai Svanidze) that the demonstrators could continue to Bolotnaya Square to take part in the rally.
By 6.30 p.m. the crowd at the corner of Malyy Kamennyy bridge and the waterfront was cut in two. Those on Malyy Kamennyy bridge were pushed in the direction of Bolshaya Polyanka Street, while those on the waterfront were cut off from both Bolshoy and Malyy Kamennyy bridges.
Around 6.54 p.m., the police cordon that acted as a barrier along the waterfront near the Luzhkov bridge was removed, and demonstrators were able to move freely along the Bolotnaya waterfront. Approximately 15 minutes later, some 200 police officers in protective equipment who had formed a cordon at the Luzhkov Bridge began pushing protesters in the direction of Lavrushinsky Lane, which runs from Bolotnaya Square to the Tretyakovskaya metro station. At the same time, police began to push people back along the Bolotnaya waterfront from the Luzhkov bridge towards the Udarnik cinema. Those who remained on the waterfront linked arms in passive resistance. The police pushed forward, divided the crowd and began to detain demonstrators.
At about 7.47 p.m. authorities created a corridor to allow demonstrators to leave the Bolotnaya area.
At 7.53 p.m. a group of the OMON officers appeared from the bushes of Bolotnaya Gardens and divided those demonstrators that remained on the square. Those on one side were able to move towards Malyy Kamennyy bridge, while those on the other remain totally blocked between the police lines.
At 8.08 p.m. the last groups of people slowly left the waterfront along a corridor formed by the policemen. The police also began to move people away from the Kadashevskaya waterfront on the other side of the Obvondoy Channel. Some people were detained, while others were pushed along Bolshaya Polyanka Street in the direction of the Lavrushinsky Lane.
Between 9 and 10 p.m. around two thousand demonstrators moved along Bolshaya Ordynka Street chanting slogans… and the OMON officers began to detain people and actively disperse the column.”
52. On 20 March 2013 the Zamoskvoretskiy branch of the Investigative Committee dismissed ten individual complaints and two official enquiries made in regard to the matter, one by Mr Ponomarev, State Duma Deputy, and another one by Mr A. Babushkin, President of the Public Supervisory Committee of Moscow. The complaints and enquiries concerned the allegedly unlawful acts of the police dispersing the rally on 6 May 2012, including excessive use of force and arbitrary arrests. The Investigative Committee interviewed one of the ten persons who had lodged the complaint and four police officers deployed in the cordon around Bolotnaya Square, including squadron and regiment commanders. They stated, in particular, that they had been acting under orders to maintain public safety and to identify and arrest the most active instigators of unrest; only those resisting the demands of the police had been arrested and no force had been used unnecessarily. The police officers stated that when the police had had to intervene, they had used combat manoeuvres and truncheons but no tear gas or other exceptional means of restraint. Squadron commander S. explained that he had been deployed in the sector adjacent to the stage and that there had been no incidents or disorder in that sector; no one had been arrested. The decision listed thirteen other internal inquiries held following individual complaints and medical reports; in six cases the allegations of abuse had been found unsubstantiated and in seven cases the police conduct had been found lawful. As regards the substance of the complaints at hand, the Investigative Committee found as follows:
“…having crossed Malyy Kamennyy bridge, the column leaders stopped. Many march participants bypassed the organisers and proceeded to Bolotnaya Square towards the stage… When the march participants had filled nearly all Bolotnaya embankment, limited by the police cordon on one side and by the stage on the other side, the organisers were still at the point between Malyy Kamennyy bridge, Bolotnaya Square, [the park] and the “Udarnik” cinema…
At this time the organisers demanded that the police officers let them pass to the Kremlin. The police told them that they would not let anyone pass to the Kremlin because the event was authorised to take place at Bolotnaya Square where the stage had been specially set up and they were told to proceed. After that, the organisers decided to call a sit-down protest and called upon those present to disobey the lawful orders of the police. After that, the meeting participants congregated opposite the Udarnik cinema where after a while they attempted to break the cordon, which [the police] did not manage to prevent. Therefore the police began arresting the most active participants of the break; they were put in a police van and then taken to police stations in Moscow. After the confrontation had been localised, the police officers slightly dispersed the crowd having apprehended the most active perpetrators. From the very beginning of the sit-down protest the police requested the participants through loudspeakers to proceed to the stage, not to act on provocation and not to commit unlawful acts, but these requests had no effect and therefore [it was clear that] the breaking of the cordon had been organised. In suppressing it the police officers acted in co-ordination and concert. They did not apply force or special means of restraint. However the work of the officers charged with apprehending offenders did involve the use of force and special means of restraint, in so far as necessary, against persons putting up resistance.
Later on, in the area of Malyy Kamennyy bridge and at the [park] corner some localised confrontations took place… force and special means of restraint were used. All those detained at Bolotnaya Square were taken to the police stations… Administrative offence reports were then remitted to the Justices of the Peace for consideration on the merits.
According to Article 42 of the Criminal Code, the acts of a public official connected with the use of his or her official powers which have caused damage to interests protected by law, may not be qualified as a criminal offence if they were committed under a binding order or instruction.
After the organisers had decided to call a sit-down protest… [they] provoked mass disorder during which the participants threw various objects at the police, thus causing injuries to some of them. Because of this turn of events the police officers detained those participating in the mass disorder with justifiable use of force, and by special means of restraint against those who resisted.
In view of the foregoing, the institution of criminal proceedings against the police officers… is refused for the absence of corpus delicti.”
53. On 24 May 2013 the first criminal case against twelve persons suspected of participation in mass disorder was transferred to the Zamoskvoretskiy District Court of Moscow for the determination of criminal charges (the first “Bolotnaya” case).
54. On 2 December 2012 Mr Navalnyy gave testimonies as a witness in the first Bolotnaya case. He testified, in particular, as follows:
“The political organisers and the formal organisers, we all had a clear idea… and the Moscow Mayor’s office confirmed that the march would be the same as the one that had taken place on 4 February 2012. Bolotnaya Square is a traditional place for holding various opposition events. We all had a clear understanding what the route would be, where the stage would be, what the layout would be. We came there at that time for a rather traditional, customary event, the scenario of which was well-known to everybody… two days beforehand the maps showing where people would assemble and the direction of the march were published on the official [news] website RiaNovosti, they are still posted there. The map was published on the [police] website “Petrovka, 38” and this map is still posted there. Not only the organisers, but the participants too, they knew where they were going… When we approached the venue of the meeting… we saw that the map showing where people would assemble on the square had been essentially altered. It was essentially different from the map of 4 February , and, above all, different from the document which had been agreed with the Moscow Mayor’s office which had been published on website[s] RiaNovosti and “Petrovka, 38″… [in which] people were to assemble on Bolotnaya embankment as well as in the park of Bolotnaya Square. However, when we came we saw that the park of Bolotnaya Square, that is about 80 per cent of the square, was barred and cordoned off… since [the cordon] did not correspond [to the map] the column stopped. The event organisers and the people who came just waited for this question to be resolved, for the police to remove the wrong cordon, for the police chiefs to reply as to what had changed, why the approved meeting was not being conducted according to the scenario that had been approved… I had previously [organised events]… Somebody had taken the map and changed the location of the meeting. This had practically never happened before… to show visually that we were not moving anywhere, we sat on the ground… the first line of [the police] cordon was composed of 20-year-old conscripts, and with a thousand people pressing on it the cordon broke. It could only break. This led to an uncontrollable situation, as several policemen were walking and trying to say something through megaphones, impossible to tell what they were saying. Some activists passing by were also speaking through megaphones, impossible to tell what they were saying. No authority present on the spot. And impossible to understand who was in command of that. So all of that caused the rupture of the police cordon. People started spreading across that spot… Then I tried to walk over to the stage to try and explain to the gathering what was going on, using the amplifiers. I did not know then that the police had already cut off the amplifiers.
[Question to the witness] Did anybody try to negotiate with the participants of the sit-down protest?
– Attempts had been made as much as possible in the circumstances… everybody had stopped because we all wanted to understand where were the representatives from the mayor’s office, where was the responsible representative of the Interior Department. All the [high-ranking] police officers were asked, but they only shrugged. Nobody could understand what was going on. The State Duma deputies present on the spot tried to act as negotiators, but… they said that nobody wanted to come up to us. We could see some police officers resembling chiefs, at a distance… but it was impossible to get to them… it was impossible to reach the [police] command. Nobody would come to us. Nobody could negotiate despite everyone’s wish to do so.
…when I was in the detention facility I lodged a complaint about the hindrance of a peaceful public event. This complaint was with the Moscow Interior Department. I have set out the arguments [why] I considered that there had been ample evidence that the officials of the Moscow Interior Department had deliberately provoked the crowd to panic so that [they] could later make claims about mass disorder.”
55. On the same day Mr Davidis gave testimonies as a witness in the first Bolotnaya case. He testified, in particular, as follows:
“The negotiations with the [Mayor’s office] have been very difficult this time… I had been the organiser of most events from 25 December 2011. It was always possible to meet the deadline, to find a compromise, [but not this time]… It was [only] on 4 [May 2012] that we received the written agreement. On the same day the working meeting took place… Usually, everything is decided no later than five days before the event. This time there was practically 24-hours’ notice. We could not even bring the vehicles carrying the stage to the square before 1 p.m. [on 6 May 2012]. We were put under very harsh conditions… we had to mount the stage within three hours… At the [working meeting] technical issues were discussed, but for the previous events we held, as a matter of practice, [there was] an on-site reconnaissance: the representatives of the organisers [together with] the representatives of the police… would visit the site, walk through the route and determine where the barriers would be put, the stage, the lavatories, so that there is no ambiguity in understanding the event. This time, because [the working meeting] was on 4 [May 2012], and the event was on 6 [May 2012], it was already clear at the working meeting that we wouldn’t have time for an on-site reconnaissance, therefore at Mr Deynichenko’s proposal it was stated that in organising the event we would follow the example of the assembly held on 4 February . Then, it was also a march from Kaluzhskaya Square and a meeting at Bolotnaya Square. The only thing that was noted was that this time the stage would be a bit closer to the park of Bolotnaya Square, at the corner of the square, because originally the event had been declared for 5,000 participants. We had a feeling that people were disappointed, somehow low-spirited and that not many would come. When we realised that there would be more people I told that to Mr Oleynik [the First Deputy Director of the Regional Security Department], but he told us that it was unacceptable. But it was clear that we could not do anything about it. We warned that there would be significantly more participants… When we called Mr Deynichenko the following day he told [us] that he had had a map drawn up by the Interior Department, and that Mr Udaltsov could come during the day to see it to clarify any issues. During the day he postponed the meeting several times and then he was no longer picking up the phone. Therefore it was not possible to see or discuss the map.
[Question to the witness] Was the blocking of the park discussed at the working meeting, or later?
– No, of course not. The event of 4 February  had been organised so that the meeting was held at Bolotnaya Square. Bolotnaya Square is an area comprising the park and Bolotnaya embankment. It was supposed that people would… turn [like before] towards the park. It was said that everything except the position of the stage, which would be moved forwards 20 metres, would be the same as [the last] time, this was expressly spelled out. We were guided by it.
[Question to the witness] With whom was it discussed that the positioning of the security forces would be the same, [give us] the names?
– This was spelled out at the big working meeting at the office of Mr Oleynik and in his presence. Since we realised that we had no time for an on-the-spot reconnaissance, Mr Deynichenko suggested that it would be like the last time as we had already walked along this route.
…Nadezhda Mityshkina called me several times and complained that they were having trouble bringing in the equipment… that they could not find anyone in charge. Usually it is the police representative who is responsible for the event, separately for the march and for the meeting. When I crossed [to] the area allocated to the march, even before passing through the metal detectors, colonel Makhonin who is traditionally in charge of the march called me. We met. I gave him a written undertaking not to breach the law… I told him that [two members of staff] had been arrested [at the stage area]… he promised to release them…
[Question to the witness] What exactly did colonel Makhonin say? The areas allocated to the march and to the meeting, were they determined in front of the camera?
– No we did not discuss it…
…at the turning [from Malyy Kamenny bridge] the procession came to a standstill… some people sat on the ground… those who sat down had justifiably asked for an expansion. I could not push through to get there. I learned that both [State Duma deputies] were conducting negotiations; I thought that it was probably going to settle this situation… at a certain point Ms Mityushkina called me and said that the police were demanding to close the event. I explained… that if [the police] considered that there had been breaches, they had to give us time to remedy these defects, they could not end the event at once. I called Mr Udaltsov… and said that we were coming, [that there was] no need to end anything. Actually when I reached the corner the sit-in protest had already ended. The organisers who had participated in the sit-in protest and [other] people tried to approach the stage…
The official web-site of the Moscow Interior [Department] published the map on which it was shown, just as agreed [and] just as on 4 February 2012 [that] the border [of the meeting venue] was outlined at the far end of the park and not the near one… all agreements were breached.
[Question to the witness] During the working meeting on 4 [May 2012] or at the beginning of the [march], did the Interior Department warn you about any preparations for provocations, breach of public order, the campsite?
– No, there were no such talks with the police.
[Question to the witness] If one has a badge, does it help in principle for talking to the police?
– No, it does not make any difference. I personally called Mr Deynichenko and asked him to take measures. There was no communication with the police. The police officers did not pick up the phone calls. [I] did not manage to find anyone in charge of the police.
[Question to the witness] When, according to the rules, …should the appointments be made to co-ordinate… on the part of the organisers and [on the part of] the Mayor’s office?
– The law does not expressly say [when]… we received no documents from the [Moscow Government] or the Interior Department. We had no information as to who was responsible.
[Question to the witness] That means that at the beginning and during the event you did not know the names of those in charge?
– Except for the officer in charge of the march, colonel Makhonin.
[Question to the witness] When the emergency occurred, who did you try calling at the Interior Department commandment…?
– By then I was no longer trying to call anyone. I had heard that [the two State Duma deputies] were holding negotiations. I called Mr Udaltsov to tell him that they were trying to close the meeting, but he told me that they were already heading to the stage, that they had ended the sit-in protest.
[Question to the witness] Why did the police announce that the event was banned?
– I cannot explain why such a decision was taken. They themselves impeded the conduct of the event and then they ended it by themselves…
[Question to the witness] The reason why [the event was] closed was the sit-down protest?
– As I understood from Ms Mityushkina, yes.
[Question to the witness] How did the police make their demands? Through loudspeakers?
– I would not say that it was some sort of large-scale [announcement]. It was more through physical force. But some demands were made via megaphones, there were no other means.”
56. On 5 December 2012 Mr Nemtsov gave testimonies as a witness in the first Bolotnaya case. He testified, in particular, as follows:
“…I was not an event organiser, but I was well-informed about the way it had been authorised. On the web-site of the Moscow Interior Department a map was posted showing the location of the police [cordon] and the access points. The map was in the public domain and one could see that the park of Bolotnaya Square should have been opened. But it turned out to be closed. Moreover, we openly announced it on the Internet, and the media reported it, that the route would be exactly the same as on 4 February 2012… On 4 February 2012 there was an authorised event… all of [Bolotnaya] square was open, no cordons on Bolshoy Kamennyy bridge. We easily turned into the square, there had been no scuffles… we were sure that on 6 May 2012 it would be exactly the same picture… but the police had deceived us, blocked Bolotnaya Square having left a very narrow passage for the demonstrators. We understood that it would be hard to pass through this bottleneck. We stopped, and to show the police that we were not going to storm the Kremlin and the [Bolshoy] Kamennyy bridge we sat on the ground… Mr Gudkov [the State Duma deputy], …proposed to be an intermediary in the negotiations between the protestors and the police… we waited, all was peaceful… he several times attempted to negotiate but this came to nothing. It became clear that… the crowd were about to panic. We got up. And an awful scuffle began… I was moving [to the stage]… when I arrived there I saw a strange scene for an authorised event. The microphones had all been switched off, Mr Navalnyy and Mr Udaltsov had been arrested just before me. The police never act like that at authorised events. I took a megaphone and addressed the people. I did not speak for long. In few minutes the police apprehended me…
[Question to the witness] Why, as you say, were the police particularly aggressive?
– The demonstration took place just one day before Mr Putin’s inauguration. Naturally, the police had received very strict orders. Naturally, they were paranoid about “Maidan”. The fact that they had treacherously breached the agreement and closed off the square, this proves the political directives. I was particularly surprised at Mr Gorbenko, the Deputy Mayor, with whom Mr Gudkov was negotiating. He is a reasonable man, but here he was like a zombie, he would not negotiate with Mr Gudkov. This was strange… did not want to talk as a human…
[Question to the witness] Did you know about the intention to set up tents, or about the breaking of the cordon?
– No, I did not know about it then.
We demanded only that [the authorities] implement what had been agreed with [the organisers].”
57. On 18 December 2012 Ms Mirza, the head of the Ombudsman’s secretariat, gave testimonies as a witness in the first Bolotnaya case. She testified, in particular, as follows:
“…[on 6 May 2012] I was present as an observer… unlike the usual events held at Bolotnaya Square, [this time] the park was cordoned off… when we passed the metal detectors… Mr Biryukov called and asked us to return urgently because… at Malyy Kamennyy bridge… [protestors] had sat down on the ground… [The Ombudsman] tried to persuade these people to stand up and to go and conduct the meeting… At this time the [second] riot police cordon which had stood between Bolshoy Kamennyy bridge and Malyy Kamenny bridge, apparently approached the crowd, therefore the pressure built up from both sides… I tried to leave the congested area… showed my observer’s badge… but the riot police were not listening to me, laughed slightly and continued to press, there was no reaction on their part. This somewhat surprised me because we found ourselves there at the request of the Moscow Interior Department.
Usually there was no such multi-layered defence. Bolshoy Kamenny bridge was blocked as if it was warfare, beyond requirements, as we thought… among the protestors we saw several people in masks, and we reported that to the police, [as] this was unusual. The mood of the Interior Department was also unusual, and so was the mood of the riot police. A police chief from the Moscow Interior Department, Mr Biryukov, told me, for example, that that he could do nothing, that he was not in charge of the riot police and that the riot police reported to the [federal] police, and this was also unusual to us. I spoke to the Deputy Mayor… and saw how upset he was, and his very presence there was also [a rare occasion].
As I was later told by Mr Biryukov from the Interior Department, [the protestors had sat down on the ground] because the passage had been narrowed down. The passage had indeed been narrowed down, I can confirm that, I saw that, the passage was much narrower than usual, and there were metal detectors which were not supposed to be there.
Mr Biryukov was in charge on behalf of the Moscow Interior Department – this is absolutely sure because he is always in charge of such events. His name, his function and his telephone number were written on our badges so that he could be contacted if any questions or doubts arose. As to the [representative of the Mayor’s office], [I am not sure].
[Question to the witness] You have explained about the cordon. Why was it not possible, for example, to move it [back] so as to prevent a scuffle?
– Mr Biryukov is a very constructive person and he knows his job, but he could not explain to me why he could not influence the riot police.
…[the Deputy Mayor also] told me that he could not do anything, it was said to me personally. At this time the breaking of the cordon occurred. [The Ombudsman] and our staff, together with a few other people, walked out through [the gap]…
[Question to the witness] Did you receive any information while at the cordon? Perhaps you heard from the police officers about the official closure of the public event?
…After the cordon had already been broken, when the arrests had begun, [then] they were telling us through a megaphone to disperse, that the meeting was over, I heard it.”
58. On 23 December 2013 Mr N. Svanidze, member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation gave testimonies as a witness in the first Bolotnaya case. He testified, in particular, as follows:
“…[on 6 May 2012] I was present as an observer… [when] everybody headed towards the narrow bottleneck of the embankment… it created a jam. Several dozens of people sat on the ground, and the cordon moved towards it… I asked “Why won’t they open up the passage?”, but Viktor Aleksandrovich [Biryukov] would turn his face away and would not answer when one told him that the passage had to be opened. I understood that there was no point talking to him, he was not in command.
[Question to the witness] Did [the Ombudsman] or anyone else attempt to negotiate the widening of the passage?
– We could not do anything. We requested it, [Ms Mirza] requested it and I think that [the Ombudsman] did too, but nothing was done. The passage was not widened.
[Question to the witness] Were there any calls to move towards the Kremlin?
[Question to the witness] During your presence at the event did you know on what territory the meeting had been authorised?
– Yes, I was convinced that [it was] Bolotnaya Square and the park of Bolotnaya Square.”
59. On the same day Mr Vasiliev, staff member at the Ombudsman’s office, gave testimonies as a witness in the first Bolotnaya case. He testified, in particular, as follows:
“…[on 6 May 2012] I was present as an observer… on that day we gathered at the press centre of the Interior Department, we were given maps, the instructions how to behave, the list of public observers…
…the Ombudsman asked [the protestors sitting on the ground] why they were not going to the meeting venue. I could not hear the answer, they got up and headed on, after that, congestion occurred… [the Ombudsman] began looking for the officer responsible for the cordon. There was [the chief press officer] Mr Buryukov there, [the Ombudsman] told him: “let’s move the cordon back so that people can pass” [but] Mr Biryukov told him that it was outside his powers. [The Ombudsman] asked in whose powers it was, he replied “I don’t know”. At that moment the police began splitting the crowd…”
60. On 21 February 2014 the Zamoskvoretskiy District Court of Moscow pronounced a judgment in the first Bolotnaya case. It found eight persons guilty of participation in the mass disorder and of violent acts against police officers during the public assembly on 6 May 2012. They received prison sentences of between two and a half and four years; one of them was released on parole. Three co-defendants had previously been pardoned under the Amnesty Act and a fourth had his case disjoined from the main proceedings.
61. On 22 May 2014 the Zamoskvoretskiy branch of the Investigative Committee dismissed five complaints by individuals who had sustained injuries on 6 May 2012 allegedly through the excessive use of force by the police. The complaints had originally been a part of the criminal investigation file concerning the mass disorder, but were subsequently disjoined from it. During the investigation of the mass disorder case, confrontations were conducted between those who had lodged complaints (in the capacity of the accused in the criminal case) and the police officers accused of violence (in the capacity of victims in the criminal case). The relevant part of the decision read as follows:
“In suppressing attempts to break the police cordon, the police officers acted in co-ordination and concert, without applying physical force or special means of restraint; however the work of the officers charged with apprehending offenders did involve physical force and special means of restraint, in so far as necessary [to restrain] those resisting.
After the crowd of protestors had calmed down and thinned out a little, the police officers began to tighten the cordon, [and] by doing so encouraged the citizens to proceed to the stage. At the same time many meeting participants who did not want to go there began to return to Bolshaya Yakimanka Street of Moscow. The police also accompanied them.
Later, in the area of Malyy Kamennyy bridge and at the corner of the park [of Bolotnaya Square] confrontations took place between the provocateurs, the persons calling for defiance and the persons committing such defiance. During the apprehension of the said persons force was used by the police because of their resistance, and in a number of cases, also special means of restraint for apprehending the most active instigators.
Because of such a turn of events the police officers justifiably used physical force for the apprehension of the participants in the mass disorder, and in relation to some of them who attempted to resist, also special means of restraint.”
62. On 20 June 2014 the Moscow City Court upheld the judgment of 21 February 2014, having slightly reduced the prison sentences of two defendants.
63. On 24 July 2014 the Moscow City Court found Mr Udaltsov and Mr Razvozzhayev guilty of organising mass disorder on 6 May 2012. The judgment contained the following findings:
“Witness Deynichenko testified that on 4 May 2012 he had taken part in a working meeting at the Moscow Department of Regional Security… as a follow-up to the meeting a draft security plan was prepared, and all necessary agreements were reached with the organisers concerning the order of the march and meeting, the movement of the column, the stage set up, access to the meeting venue, barriers and the recess from the stage; the [organisers] had agreed on that. The question of using the park of Bolotnaya Square was not raised because the declared number of participants was 5,000, whereas over 20,000 people could be accommodated in the open area of the square and the embankment, and [the organisers] had known that in advance. It had been discussed with them how the cordon would be placed from Malyy Kamennyy bridge to the park of Bolotnaya Square, so the organisers knew about the cordon in advance. The placement of the cordon was indicated in the [security plan]. This document was for internal use and access to it was only given to the police; the location of the forces could be changed in an emergency by the operational headquarters. The organisers did not insist on an on-the-spot visit; such visits are held at the initiative of the organisers, which had not been requested because they had known the route… and the meeting venue… [Witness Deynichenko] had known that at the beginning of the march the event organisers, including Mr Udaltsov, had discussed between them that they were not going to turn to the meeting venue but would stop and try to break the cordon to proceed to Bolshoy Kamennyy bridge.
Witness N. Sharapov testified that Mr Udaltsov had known the route of the march and had not raised a question about opening up the park of Bolotnaya Square. Moreover, the park was a natural reserve with narrow lanes… the park had been opened up previously [for a public event], exceptionally, only on one occasion, on 4 February 2012, but then it was winter, it was snowing and the declared number of participants had significantly exceeded 5,000. No such exception was made for 6 May 2012.
…according to the statement of the Moscow City Security Department, …the meeting venue at Bolotnaya embankment could accommodate 26,660 people…