Aleksey Maskalev, a single father from the Tula region of Russia, who escaped from house arrest on the eve of his sentencing in the criminal case of “discrediting” the Russian military, he was reportedly detained in Belarus at the beginning of this week, although law enforcement agencies have not yet confirmed his detention.
Moskalev, who first came to the attention of law enforcement last year when his 12-year-old daughter drew a picture condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, escaped from house arrest on Monday night.
Following a police investigation last year, Masklaev was charged with violating Russia’s wartime censorship laws for anti-war comments he made on social media.
His whereabouts remained unknown until Thursday, when the independent Telegram channel SOTA reported With reference to an unnamed source, Maskalev was arrested in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.
“Now I can’t call Aleksei. He doesn’t answer the phone. I can’t say with absolute certainty, but all the information suggests that this is true. It’s very sad,” – Moskalev’s lawyer Dmitriy Zakhvatov, who stated that he kept in touch with Moskalev after his escape, wrote in Telegram.
The arrest of Moskalyov, most likely, is the work of the Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) and was carried out by its counterpart in Belarus, whose operatives searched the Minsk apartment where he was hiding, Zakhvatov said.
“I can say that this operation to capture Moskalev was carried out at the highest level. It was authorized and carried out by Belarusians, but coordinated between the FSB and [the Belarusian] KGB”, Zakhvatov told independent Russian TV channel “Rain”.
Maskalev was arrested for repeated violations of the censorship law in March, after which his daughter was taken to a foster home in their hometown of Yefremov, and she has not been able to see her father since.