Nikita Tushkanov refuses to bow to repression. Photo: 7x7-journal

More jail for anti-war teacher and historian from north Russian Komi Republic

Nikita Tushkanov from the north Russian Komi Republic is called a ´terrorist and extremist´ by Russian authorities. This week, a military court prolonged his arrest with another month.
May 03, 2023


Tushkanov was detained on the 8th of December 2022 following a police raid in his apartment, and he has since been behind bars on charges of ‘justification of terrorism’ and discreditation of the Armed Forces.’

On the 2nd of May, a military court in the Komi Republic prolonged his imprisonment with another month.

The young teacher and historian has long been prosecuted by the Russian Security Services.

In early 2021, Tushkanov was fired from his job in a  local school for a single-person rally in support of free speech.

Then, few weeks after Russia’s full-scale attack on Ukraine, he was fined 90,000 rubles (€1,500) in three cases that involved “discrediting the Armed Force,” “demonstration of Nazi symbols,” and “disorderly and insulting behaviour.”

In a comment given to SOTA, Tushkanov says that he is only expressing opposition to the war.

“I have expressed my disagreement with the war actions. I have expressed myself in a peaceful manner, and not the way they do it on TV. I did not ask anyone to slay and shoot nationalists,” he said in a court hearing.


Tushkanov comes from the small Komi town of Mikun, and is a native speaker of the Komi language. He descends from GULAG prisoners that were forced to move to the far northern region to build railways.

In an earlier interview published at, he describes how teachers in local schools are confronted with the propaganda of patriotism and Putinism. “History classes in school is politics turned towards the past; they write about the reunification of Ukraine with the Russian state, […] that Russia is such a good country and that we do not give up on our soldiers, that the Crimea is our’s and that Ukraine always has been part of Russia,” he explains.

According to Tushkanov, “we are moving toward the year 1937.”

But he does not want to move. “I love Komi, the culture, the history of the republic, my native Komi language. This is definitely my place, and I do not want to move only because someone represses me for my political views. I want to help my small native people develop,” he underlined.



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