A criminal case was opened against Violetta Grudina, a former head of Navalny's headquarters* in Murmansk, for violating sanitary and epidemiological norms (Part 1 of Article 236 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). Local police officers and employees of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare (Rospotrebnadzor) had tried to commit her to a hospital for patients with COVID-19. They said that she had allegedly gone outside when she had been sick with coronavirus, which was a violation of the stay-at-home order. The activist believes that this was done in order to prevent her from running for election to the Murmansk City Council. Violetta Grudina told the correspondent of 7x7 about this.
Violetta Grudina felt ill around June 10. A few days later, she had a fever. She claims that a doctor from a polyclinic visited her only on June 25 and took a test for coronavirus. Two days later, the activist got an SMS that she had been diagnosed with coronavirus. According to her, the text of the message said, "The test from 06/26 is positive, you and your cohabitants are obliged to observe the stay-at-home order within 14 days from the date of contact."
According to the young woman, she has not received orders from Rospotrebnadzor that she needs to stay home since June 27. She added that she had not been assigned any therapy, and an online chat for helping patients with coronavirus had replied that if she had become ill, she could have called an ambulance. Grudina first went outside only on July 5, when two weeks of her stay-at-home order expired.
On July 6, a policeman came to the apartment rented by Grudina to conduct a "preventive conversation" about the inadmissibility of violating the law. And in the morning of June 9, the owner, whom, according to the activist, law enforcement officers brought from Monchegorsk — a city located 137 km from Murmansk, arrived at the house. Rospotrebnadzor employees and police officers who accompanied the owner told her she would be taken to a hospital. She would not let them into the apartment. As a result, law enforcement officers left a lawsuit by Lena Lukichyova, the head of the regional Rospotrebnadzor, at the door.
In a document dated July 8, the chief officer of health of the region asked the Oktyabrsky District Court of Murmansk to make a decision on committing Grudina to the regional center for specialized forms of medical care.
"I am being politically repressed. Officials are even ready to provide me, a healthy person, with a bed in a COVID hospital in this regard. In my opinion, everything is done so that I do not have time to submit documents for running for the elections of deputies of the Murmansk City Council. Look at this: the chief officer of health of the region asks the court to commit me to a hospital. It is likely that there will be a trial soon, they will come and take me to the hospital. How will I apply while in the hospital? Only media and public disclosure can save me from this," Grudina gave a comment to 7x7.
Earlier, local media and Telegram channels reported that Violetta Grudina was distributing agitation leaflets when having a coronavirus infection.
Violetta Grudina is a well-known activist in Murmansk Oblast and the former chief of Alexei Navalny’s headquarters*. Since 2017, she has organized and participated in a rally of the politician’s supporters, rallies against the retirement-age increase, in support of political prisoners, against amendments to the Constitution of Russia. The police would detain the activist and search her apartment because of her political activity. Courts would fine Grudina, arrest her, and block her bank accounts.
Before the unagreed action in support of Navalny on April 21, unknown people put up leaflets with Grudina’s contact details and calls to "protect the city from this evil" in the entrance hall of her house. When she was in the building of the former Navalny’s headquarters*, unknown people fired at the windows.
Grudina told 7x7 in an interview that she was going to run for the elections of deputies of the Murmansk City Council and did not plan to leave Russia.