Olga Misik Wiki – Biography
Olga Misik was an activist who was arrested in Russia after reading the Russian constitution to riot police during a protest. A 2019 photo of the then 17 years old girl has gone viral in 2022 amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Many Twitter users have circulated the photo, assuming it is from recent protests against President Vladimir Putin and the Ukrainian war, but the picture is three years old.
According to the Moscow Times, Misik was among protesters speaking out against the Russian government’s decision to prohibit allies of Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny from participating in Moscow city council elections. She and other protesters were among many arrested during Putin’s crackdown on dissent.
Now she is 22-year-old.
Olga Misik Arrested
Misik and other protesters faced down a line of riot officers with armour and shields in July 2019. She was taken into custody and initially faced up to three years in prison. Photos and videos showed her reading from her country’s constitution, including offering specific passages to the riot police.
While Misik was released after the protest in 2019, she later faced charges related to a rally in 2020. According to the Moscow Times, Misik and two friends were also accused of vandalism after police said they hung a banner supporting Navalny and other political prisoners on a government building and “splashed red paint on a security booth outside the Prosecutor General’s Office building in August 2020.” Misik wrote on social media that she was dragged out of her home by police after the 2020 protest.
The Moscow Times wrote, “For many in Russia’s opposition, Misik came to symbolize a new generation of Russians who are silenced by a repressive regime.” The newspaper wrote that Misik’s arrest came amid what, “activists call a widening clampdown by Russian authorities on the opposition, including recent expansions to the country’s ‘foreign agents’ law and an anticipated ruling to ban Navalny’s activist and political groups as ‘extremists.'”
She Was Sentenced to 2 Years
According to the Moscow Times, Misik was sentenced on May 11, 2021, to vandalism accusations. She received two years and two months of “restricted liberty,” which amounted to home confinement, including a curfew that required her to be inside her house from 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The newspaper reported that her two friends, Ivan Vorobyevsky and Igor Basharimov, both received similar sentences.
Prosecutors claimed Misik and her friends caused damage that amounted to 3,500 rubles to the building during the protest on August 8, 2020. “Defense attorneys say that the documents provided by prosecutors concerning the alleged damages were falsified and that no harm was caused by the water-soluble paint,” RadioFreeEurope wrote. Misik and her friends faced up to three years in prison.
Misik had been on house arrest before her sentencing. Misik was also detained in October 2019 when she held a one-person protest in Moscow’s Red Square, holding up a large piece of blank paper, RadioFreeEurope reported.
моя квартира потерпела косметические процедуры pic.twitter.com/QNw9t3RXJz
— Olga Misik (@thorkiman) March 16, 2022
RadioFreeEurope added, “In February 2020, she was detained in Penza while organizing a demonstration of support for the accused in the so-called Network (‘Set’) case, which activists say was fabricated by the security forces.”
Misik, who was deemed Russia’s “Tiananmen Teen,” about the Tiananmen Square’s Tank Man, who stood in front of tanks in Beijing, China, in 1989, told the BBC in 2019, “The situation in Russia is currently extremely unstable. The authorities are clearly getting very scared if they are consolidating armed forces from different parts of the country to chase peaceful protesters. And people’s mentality has changed, as I can see.”