Alexander Byvshev

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Alexander Byvshev (Russian: Александр Бывшев) is a Russian teacher, and poet from Oryol Oblast. He was convicted in 2015 for writing pro-Ukrainian poetry.[1] Six criminal extremism cases were open against him for writing poetry with criticism of Josef Stalin and other Soviet leadership during World War II and Russian military intervention in Ukraine.[2]


Byvshev taught the German language at a secondary school in the town of Kromy and was writing poetry[3] In some of his published poems, such as "To Ukrainian patriots", he denounced the Annexation of Crimea and called Ukrainians to resist.[4] His work was criticized in a local newspaper.[5] In May, 2014, criminal proceedings were initiated against him for extremism. In 2015, he was accused for "incitement to hatred and enmity"[6] and was sentenced to 300 hours of community service.

Byvshev was consequently fired and added to a "List of Terrorists and Extremists",[7] the consequences of which included all his bank accounts being frozen.[3] The SOVA Center, a Moscow-based non-profit organization that monitors human rights, described the local media campaign against Byvshev as reminiscent of a Stalinist campaign against "rootless cosmopolitans". After a consensus of editors, the Russian Language Wikipedia deleted its article about him.[3]


  1. ^ Russian poet sentenced over poem in support of Ukraine.
  2. ^ Russian Investgative Committee is looking into poetry by Byvshev (Russian)
  3. ^ a b c Coynash, Halya (18 June 2015). "Poet labelled 'terrorist', flung off Wikipedia for verse in support of Ukraine". Human Rights in Ukraine. Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Russian poet sentenced over poem in support of Ukraine - Human Rights in Ukraine". Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  5. ^ "The Propaganda War: Opposition Sings Kremlin Tune on Ukraine". Der Spiegel. April 22, 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  6. ^ "A poet from Kromy was condemned as "extremist"". SOVA Center for Information and Analysis. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  7. ^ Kyiv Post, June 20, 2015

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