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  2. Court refused to punish head of Komi for insulting State Duma member as "new fascist"

Court refused to punish head of Komi for insulting State Duma member as "new fascist"

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In Syktyvkar, the court rejected the lawsuit of State Duma member Oleg Mikhailov against the head of Komi, Vladimir Uyba. The communist demanded that the governor refute his statement that Mikhailov is a "new fascist" and keeps "Mein Kampf" on his desk. This was reported by the court group on VKontakte social network on March 21.

The court in Komi refused to punish the head of Komi, Vladimir Uyba, who had called State Duma member Oleg Mikhailov a "new fascist." The head of Komi also claimed that Mikhailov keeps Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" on the desk. Mikhailov filed a defamation lawsuit. He asked the court to declare these statements false and to require Uyba to issue a refutation on VKontakte.

However, the court referred to an expert's conclusion, who considered Uyba's statements to be subjective opinions that "fall within the realm of political discussion" and "do not contradict the right to freedom of thought and speech."

The head of Komi made the statements about Mikhailov in a conversation with a local activist in May 2022. In response, the Duma member advised Uyba not to try to "align himself with grandfathers’ heroic past."

This is not the first time that Vladimir Uyba has insulted Mikhailov. In 2021, Oleg Mikhailov criticized the government’s work and called Uyba a coward. After the meeting, a conflict broke out between Mikhailov and the head of Komi: Uyba using, obscene vocabulary, suggested that Mikhailov "sort things out like a man" and called him a “horse.” The audio recording of the conversation was published in the New Republic group.

In 2022, the head of Komi was investigated by the prosecutor's office for the expression "ecological garbage." This is what he called people who protested against a plan to build a landfill on the outskirts of Syktyvkar. Viktor Vorobyov, a local legislator, asked the prosecutor's office to initiate a case against Uyba for insulting the public. The head of Komi could face a fine of up to 100,000 rubles ($1,300) or disqualification for up to a year. But the prosecutor's office refused to initiate the case because Uyba used this term "addressing no one specifically." According to Vorobyov, the prosecutor's office did not want to enter into a direct conflict with the governor on the side of the opposition.


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