17 January 2014, 20:21

Mikhail Valentinovich Savva

Mikhail Savva. Photo: official site of Mikhail Savva, http://www.msavva.ru/Mikhail Savva (born November 19, 1964, in Krasnodar) is a Russian human rights defender, political analyst, social and political activist. He is Honoured Professor of the Kuban State University, Doctor of Political Sciences, and Candidate of Sociology Sciences. In April 2013, he was arrested on charges of fraud.

Education, research and teaching activities

In 1989, Mikhail graduated from the Faculty of History of the Kuban State University (the city of Krasnodar).

He is Candidate of Sociology Sciences (awarded in 1993) and Doctor of Political Sciences (awarded in 2000).

Since 1996, works as Associate Professor and then as Professor at the Kuban State University (KubSU).

Government work experience

In 1991-1993, Mikhail Savva served as the head of the Department for National Affairs and Ethnic Relations in the Krasnodar Regional Council of People's Deputies.

In 1993-1994, he worked as the head of the Department for Nationalities, Regional Policy and Migration of the Administration of the Krasnodar Territory.

In 1994-1995, he worked as the head of the Department for Nationalities of the Russian Ministry for Nationalities and Regional Policy.

In 1995-1996, Mikhail Savva served as the deputy head of the Administration of the Krasnodar Territory (and presented the Administration at the Legislative Assembly of the Krasnodar Territory).

In 1997-2001, he worked as the deputy head and then the head of the Department for Public and Interregional Relations of the Krasnodar Administration.

Social activities

Since 2001, Mikhail Savva served as the director of grant programmes in the regional NGO "Southern Regional Resource Centre" (SRRC).

In 2007-2012, he worked as the leader of the project "Legal aid to migrants in Krasnodar Territory" under the grant provided by the "MacArthur Foundation".

In 2010-2011, Mikhail Savva developed the project "Social approval as tool for enhancing civic participation" under the grant provided by the "Cooperation Fund of Black Sea Basin".1

Prosecutions

On April 12, 2013, Mikhail Savva was detained by law enforcement authorities. He was charged with fraud in embezzlement of budget funds allocated by the regional administration in the form of a grant. According to prosecutors, the "Southern Regional Resource Centre" won a grant from the Ministry of Social Development (366,000 roubles) to conduct the social research on people's attitudes towards migrants; however, in fact, the questioning was allegedly held only on paper.2

The searches were conducted at the apartment of Mikhail Savva3 and at the office of the "Southern Regional Resource Centre".4

On May 13, 2013, Mikhail Savva faced the second accusation of fraud. According to investigators, he received from the KubSU the amount of 90,000 roubles for a course of lectures actually not presented by him.

Mikhail Savva pleaded not guilty. In the first case, apart from Mikhail Savva, the second defendant is Viktoria Remmler, the head of a marketing company that conducted sociological research. Viktoria Remmler has admitted her guilt.

On April 27, 2013, Krasnodar hosted a rally in support of Mikhail Savva. Protestors demanded to stop criminal proceedings against him and collected about 100 signatures on a petition to President Putin.

On June 17, 2013, the "Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners" recognized Mikhail Savva as a political prisoner.5

On October 30, 2013, the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial" included Mikhail Savva in the list of seventy prisoners.

In November 2013, the Russian Presidential Council on Human Rights appealed to General Prosecutor Yuri Chaika with a request to ask the court to change the pre-trial restriction measure against Mikhail Savva to the form not associated with incarceration. On November 29, the Pervomaisky District Court of Krasnodar extended the detention of Mikhail Savva till January 30.

On December 4, Mikhail Savva was placed under home arrest. The decision to change the pre-trial restriction measure was made by the court as a result of consideration of a complaint filed by Vladimir Lukin, Russian Ombudsman.

On December 20, 2013, the Pervomaisky District Court of Krasnodar again held a preliminary court hearing in the case against Mikhail Savva. The Court dismissed his motion to return the case materials to the Prosecutor's Office in connection with the violations in the indictment.

Publications

Mikhail Savva is an author of more than 100 scientific papers on ethnology, ethnic conflicts, problems of integration of migrants into local community, administrative reform, and interaction of various sectors in Russia. Faculty of Psychology and Management of the KubSU.6

  • Ethnic status (conflictology analysis of social phenomenon). Krasnodar. 1997.

  • Media, power, and ethnic conflict (relationship on example of the Krasnodar Territory). Krasnodar. 2002 (co-authored with E. V. Savva).

  • New Diasporas of the Krasnodar Territory. Krasnodar. 2006.

  • Club of Political Analysts of "Krasnodar News": Dialogs (not of Plato)/Edition. Krasnodar: Kuban University, 2010.

  • Social advertising in Krasnodar: new trends.//Social and Humanitarian Gazette of Southern Russia. 2010. No. 1. P. 44-49.

  • Ethnic situation in the CIS and Baltic countries: Krasnodar Territory.//Ethnic situation and conflicts in the CIS and Baltic countries. Annual report for 2009. Moscow, Publishing House of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology. 2010. P. 397-404.

  • Development dynamics of Armenian communities in Krasnodar Territory: problems and prospects.//Questions of self-organization of the Armenian communities in the South of Russia. Yerevan. 2010, (in Armenian). P. 1240-170.

  • Ideal schemes for expulsion of foreigners.//Migration, 21st Century. Independent information analytical magazine. Moscow, 2011. No. 2 (5). P. 63-65.7

Sources:

1. Website of the Department of Management and Psychology of the KubSU.

2. Krasnodar scientist and human rights defender Mikhail Savva arrested for 2 months. "Novaya Gazeta", 13.04.2013.

3. Grant closed Moscow. "Gazeta.ru", 15.04.2013.

4. Krasnodar scientist and human rights defender Mikhail Savva arrested for 2 months. "Novaya Gazeta", 13.04.2013.

5. Website of the "Union of Solidarity with Political Prisoners".

6. Website of the Krasnodar Regional public organization of graduates of Russian universities.

7. Website of the Faculty of Management and Psychology of the KubSU.

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