The series blend original artwork with video interviews.

View the project here

Episode 1

Pokemon Games

In Episode One Coda speaks with Elena Chingina, the mother of 22-year-old Ruslan Sokolovsky who is currently waiting for his trial date in a Yekaterinburg prison. On August 11, 2016 Ruslan uploaded a video of himself playing Pokemon Go in a church. Shortly afterwards, he was arrested at home and charged with offending the religious feelings of believers. His trial begins in mid-January.

Episode 2

When caring becomes a crime

This is a story of young mother from Russia’s Kurgan region who was sentenced to six months in prison for sharing a video on the Russian social media platform Vkontake. The case of Evgeniya Chudnovets has sparked debate across Russia about how Russians should behave on social media. UPDATE: On March 6, 2016 the Kurgan regional court announced that Evgeniya will be released from prison, one month before the end of her sentencing. The decision came after Russia’s supreme court asked Kurgan to reexamine its verdict. Read more on this development here.

Episode 3

Silencing the Poet

This is the story of Alexandr Byvshev, a poet and a schoolteacher from Russia’s Oryol region who was sentenced to 300 hours of labor for posting a poem about Ukraine that criticized Russia’s annexation of Crimea. In January, a second new criminal case was started against Byvshev for another poem about Ukraine.

Episode 4

A Family Accused of Extremism

This is the story of an electrical engineer from the city of Tver who has been in prison for two years for his social media posts and of his family ruined by the Kremlin’s clampdown on dissent.

Episode 5

Criticism or Terrorism?

This is the story of Aleksey Kungurov, a blogger from the city of Tyumen sentenced to two years in prison for his post which criticized Russia’s bombing campaign in Syria.

 Episode 6

The lucky one percent

This is the story of Natalia Vahonina, a journalist from the city of Nizhny Tagil who says that Russia’s laws on extremism on social media were used to try and silence her investigation into local corruption.