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The flag-related incident happened on March 18 during a concert on the grounds of Moscow State University marking the third anniversary of Crimea's annexation by Russia.

MOSCOW -- A postgraduate student at Moscow State University (MGU) says he was beaten and interrogated by the Federal Security Service (FSB) after he exposed a makeshift Ukrainian flag on the third anniversary of Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

MGU history department student Zakhar Sarapulov told RFE/RL on March 21 that he was taken to a nearby police station, where he was beaten and questioned for two hours by men who said things suggesting they were FSB officers.

He said he was then forced to write a statement agreeing to work as an FSB informer.

According to Sarapulov, the officers threatened that he would be expelled from the university unless he signed the agreement.

The Moscow radio station Govorit Moskva, however, quoted a duty officer at the police station as saying that no such incident had occurred there.

The flag-displaying incident happened on March 18 during a concert marking the third anniversary of Crimea's annexation by Russia. The concert on the university grounds was attended by hundreds of thousands people.

Sarapulov said he waved the Ukrainian flag from his dormitory window to protest the amount of state money that was spent for the celebration while dilapidated student accommodations have been neglected for decades.

Sergei Mokhnatkin is released from Tversky prison in April 2012.

A Russian opposition activist jailed for assaulting police during a protest in Moscow has been handed an additional two years in jail.

Sergei Mokhnatkin was found guilty of "disrupting operations of a penitentiary" on March 20 and sentenced the same day, activist Tatyana Pashkevich wrote on her Facebook account.

The Arkhangelsk regional prosecutor's office told Interfax that Mokhnatkin's remaining time in a maximum-security penal colony will end 2 1/2 years from March 20.

Mokhnatkin was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison in 2014 after being found guilty of assaulting two police officers during a December 2013 protest in Moscow.

Mokhnatkin's lawyers say he was severely beaten by penal-colony guards in March 2016 after he refused to be transferred to a detention center without a written ruling. He was then charged with insulting a guard and disruption of the penal colony's operations.

In June, Mokhnatkin was found guilty of insulting a guard and sentenced to an additional 11 months. That prison time runs concurrently with his March 20 sentence.

Mokhnatkin first came to prominence in 2009 when he was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison after being convicted of attacking a police officer during another opposition rally. He was pardoned by then-President Dmitry Medvedev in April 2012.

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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