Investigative Committee of Russia reported that for the first time, the Main Investigative Department of Moscow Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on the establishment of a cell of the so-called AUE [Arrested Way of Unity] movement banned in the Russian Federation. It is an informal, well hidden, and vaguely defined organization of Russian criminals, mainly consisting of children and teenagers, who are often indirectly ruled by adult criminals.
The agency's website says that the case was initiated under Part 1 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code (organization of the activities of a public organization, in respect of which an effective court decision to ban activities in connection with the implementation of extremist activities.) It provides for a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
According to investigators, a year ago, on the territory of the detention facility №4 (Medved) in Moscow, criminal bosses created a cell of the AUE international social movement* (banned in Russia) “with the aim of promoting its activities on the territory of the detention facility.”
It should be noted that, according to the investigation, the very fact of the cell's creation took place "no later than April 2020," while the Russian Supreme Court declared AUE an extremist organization on August 17. It was not until September 10 that Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, who had actually filed a lawsuit against AUU with the Supreme Court, explained to people the reasons for this ruling. In an interview with the Kommersant newspaper, Krasnov said, in particular, that AUE was a well-structured and controlled organization consisting of children and teenagers who were protest- and extremism-orientated.
“The influence on minors and young people of the idea promoted by this movement of creating a 'thieving' power as an antipode to the state authorities is of particular concern, as well as the application of other laws, so-called concepts. This undoubtedly demonstrates that AUE really threatens the security of society and the state.
“In addition, I would like to underline the large-scale distribution of this association's materials on the Internet. Thus, according to experts, in 2019, AUE had about 30,000 groups in the VK social network, as well as many channels on the video hosting site YouTube. These are the platforms that are in the constant attention of teenagers," Krasnov said.
Notably, at the end of August last year, the issue of the "protest- and extremism-orientated people” was voiced by Sergei Kravchuk, Acting Deputy Head of the Main Directorate for ensuring public order and coordination of interaction with the executive authorities of the subjects of the Russian Federation Interior Ministry.
"It is these groupings like the extremist AUE movement banned by the Supreme Court that might become a fighting unit for protest actions, mass riots, and extremist crimes," Kravchuk said during his speech at the Public Chamber.
Meanwhile, Vladimir Savinov who himself is a former prisoner doubts that Sergei Kravchuk is right. In his opinion, "prisoners," at least in the past, had little interest in politics and his fears of some "protest actions" are unfounded.
"It seems to me that the situation is much simpler. As for identifying these cells in prisons, it's likely that another form of 'not letting out' those 'criminal bosses' whose prison term is coming to an end, or immediately extending terms of those who are in pre-trial detention, as in this case," Savinov told wek.ru. “Recently, there has been pressure on thieves-in-law again. A person is likely to be sentenced only for the fact that he does not deny that he is a 'thief-in-law.' Let alone the possibility of extending the term. Moreover, it is unclear what AUE has to do with the pre-trial detention center... We don't need this organization there. It was created for teenagers at liberty if I understand correctly.”
As for the "rallies," Savinov supposes that the phrase was added intentionally "for greater effect" and to "scare the authorities" so that it would be easier to "press for" a ban on the organization. There is no political component to the organization. Moreover, there cannot be any. There are just common criminality and criminal elements.
According to the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia, the authorities were engaged in collecting tribute from the other detainees in pre-detention center № 4, including under the threat of physical violence.
Valera Blatnoy (Valery Maganov) heads the group of "persons of criminal authority."It includes five more criminal bosses such as Lekha Zeka, Maga Kirghiz, Giga Zigudsky, Ilyas Ingush, and Sergo Samtretsky. The latter, mundanely known as Sergo Chikhladze, who used to control the gang of bag snatchers, was deported from Russia five years ago as a citizen of another country. Now, he lives abroad. It was to him that part of the money confiscated in the Medved detention facility was handed over.
According to some reports, fundraising at Medved is not accidental, as this pre-trial detention center is known for its lawlessness. It became a penitentiary institution relatively recently, in 1994. Before that, since 1974, the building housed a therapeutic labor preventive facility. After acquiring a new status, it eventually turned into a place that was extremely unfriendly to its "inmates," even for institutions of this kind.
According to the MZK1.RU website, in the second half of the 1990s, "law enforcers" were constantly coming here, quite successfully establishing the so-called "thieves-in-law's" routine there. In the 2010s, it turned into a serious scandal, when cases of extortion from prisoners became more frequent.
After that, the "thieves-in-law" were kept in separate cells and their influence on the detainees was hindered in every way. Criminal bosses often had no idea what was going on in Medved right under their very noses. As a result, the power in the pre-trial detention facility gradually shifted to various "thugs," which made the lives of its “residents” even more difficult.
As for the "authorities," the following should be added. The fact that Sergo Samtretsky does not have Russian citizenship indirectly explains the rather pompous name of the organization. The international public movement’s name means "prisoner's way of life is one." The whole "internationality" of this "social movement" lies in the fact that, according to Krasnov, it tries to spread its influence to the CIS countries, i.e. the former Soviet Union. "Prison romance and traditions," due to certain both objective and subjective reasons, took very deep roots in the past there.
"There were practically no thieves-in-law of the old formation left in the country," Savinov told wek.ru. Those who did not even have a single "rap" became thieves. However, during the changes of those formations and in the past thirty years, with the emergence of completely new groups, such as ethnic groupings, the criminal community has suffered huge human and ideological losses. Current bosses also need both "taxpayers" and "fighters.” That is why the criminal “ideology” is being revived once again.
According to Savinov, before that ideology was popular with "the old convicts", who would "educate" the teenagers in the yards. Then they would play their guitars in the evenings, “talking about thieves and prosecutors.” Now, in the era of total information technology, it is possible to do this, i.e. prepare "cannon fodder" for future criminal squabbles and riots in prisons, on a larger scale and more effectively by creating, for example, such a youth subculture as AUE (banned in the Russian Federation.)
AUE is the name and motto of the criminal subculture and the Russian informal association of gangs consisting of minors (teenagers, young boys, and girls.) This youth community promotes among minors the thieves-in-law concepts of the Russian criminal environment and “prison etiquette,” demands adherence to the "thieves' code" with the collection of money for the "commonwealth", in return for promising support and protection in the present and future (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.U.E.).
AUE was organized in Transbaikalia in the 2010s. According to some reports, thief-in-law Jem (Evgeny Vasin) began to prepare teenagers for all the hardships of criminal life. Hand-to-hand combat training, brainwashing, taxing schoolchildren, and appointing "overseers" in educational institutions... From 2011 to 2015, AUE marched both east and west of the country. Buryatia, the Amur and Irkutsk regions. In December 2016, the activities of AUE representatives were reported at the Usolsk Guards Cadet Corps in the city of Usolie-Sibirskoye in the Irkutsk region. In August 2018, a group of AUE teenagers "was spotted" already in St. Petersburg during an attack on passers-by.
On August 17, 2020, the Supreme Court of Russia, at the suit of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation, recognized the AUE movement as an extremist organization.
* The AUE criminal movement (banned in the Russian Federation, recognized as an extremist organization)