Zaurbek received his first fine
in March 2022 – for 30,000 roubles, under the article on “discrediting the Russian Army”. What triggered the fine was Mr. Zhambekov’s blunt comment
regarding support for the “special operation”. Despite the fine, the man continued to express his disagreement with the “special operation”. In the middle of April, he asked
his daughter to rip the letter Z off the rear window of a car. The vehicle belonged to a female police officer, who decided to find the culprit.
On the evening of April 16, Mr. Zhambekov received
a phone call from a man from “Center E” (the Center for Combating Extremism; a semi-independent unit within the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs). The man claimed that the incident with the letter Z had been recorded on camera and suggested Mr. Zhambekov turns himself in to the police and pleads guilty. At the police station Zaurbek was arrested for five days for “insubordination to the police”. While he was in jail, two criminal cases at once were launched
against him: for “discrediting the Russian Army” (article 280.3, part 1) and “involving minors in criminal activities” (article 150, part 2).