In November and early December, several important events took place in the framework of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum activities.
On 16 November, when large-scale demonstrations took place throughout the Czech Republic, Russian activists Evgenia Kulakova (St. Petersburg Memorial) and Miroslav Mishinov (Movement of conscientious objectors to military service, St. Petersburg) as representatives of the Forum Solidarity Group arrived in Prague to observe how the Czech people realise their right for peaceful meetings.
On 29 November, an environmental action of the Fridays for Future movement took place in different cities of the world. In Berlin, Anna Fomina, an environmental lawyer from St. Petersburg, and Anna Wågen, intern of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum, observed the demonstration on behalf of the Forum Solidarity Group.
In both cases, Russian observers noted how peaceful the actions were, and drew particular attention to the minimal participation and non-interference of the police in the exercise of citizens’ right to peaceful assembly.
Several important court hearings in Russia were attended by the Forum Solidarity Group observer Katarzyna Batko-Tołuć from Citizens Network Watchdog Poland. On 4 December, in Moscow Katarzyna as an observer attended the court hearings on the case of Yan Rachinsky from the International Memorial, a Forum member organisation, and the next day, on 5 December in Kaliningrad she attended the court hearings on the case of “Eco-zaschita” (Ecological Defense). Following her trip, Katarzyna wrote an article calling for solidarity with Russian civil society (in Polish).