An employee of the Center for Countering Extremism of the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Moscow (Center “E”), Alexei Okopny, known for the persecution of Moscow political activists, became deputy head of the unit. Mediazona reports this. A reader of the publication asked to check State Duma deputy from United Russia Andrei Gurulev for extremism, and in response received a letter signed by “Deputy Head of the Center for Combating Extremism A. V. Okopny.”
A Mediazona reader asked to check Gurulev’s statements with a call to “destroy the rot” that does not support Vladimir Putin and the war against Ukraine. The response received states that they do not violate the law “On Combating Extremist Activities.”
Okopny’s promotion was not officially announced, but it is known that he received a new position no later than May 23, 2023. This date is indicated in the report on which the criminal case against the co-chairman of the Golos observer movement Grigory Melkonyants, compiled by Okopny, is based. In it he is listed as a colonel and deputy head of Center “E” in Moscow, Melkonyants’ lawyer Mikhail Biryukov told Mediazona. Okopny himself refused to comment on his appointment to the publication and advised him to contact the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Okopny worked at many Moscow rallies and personally detained their participants. Thus, in 2019, activist Dmitry Sidorov said that Okopny detained him during a rally for the admission of independent candidates to the Moscow City Duma elections. The author of the telegram channel “Protest MGU” Dmitry Ivanov, who is currently serving 8.5 years in prison for “fakes”, said in 2018 that Okopny threatened him with rape after he was detained at a rally near the FSB building in Moscow.
Okopny was also associated with the murder of National Bolshevik Yuri Chervochkin in Serpukhov in 2007.