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Student Says FSB Beat Him For Displaying Ukrainian Flag At Russia Rally


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.

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