Phone call to Putin

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Phone Call to Putin (Russian: звонок Путину) is a slang term used by some Russian police departments for torture method which consists of administering electric shocks to the person's earlobes.[1][2][3][4] According to Amnesty International, torture with electric shocks is common in Russia.[5][6][7][8][9]

This method was profiled in publications describing a case of Aleksei Mikheyev who was falsely accused in 2006 of murder while his alleged victim was alive and well.[1] After surviving the alleged "phone call" torture, he jumped out of a third-floor window to escape his tormentors. The fall resulted in a spinal cord injury that rendered Mikheyev a paraplegic.[10] His case was taken to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France and became notable as "the first serious victory in a case of torture" brought to the Court against Russian government.[3][11]


  1. ^ a b Nemtsova, Anna (March 13, 2006). "A Phone Call to Putin. How do Kremlin authorities deal with whistle-blowers? Silence them". Newsweek. Retrieved 2009-01-19. In one recent landmark ruling, the court awarded €250,000 to Aleksei Mikheyev of Nizhny Novgorod, falsely accused of rape and murder in 1998. Investigators had extracted a written confession by administering electric shocks to Mikheyev's earlobes, a torture method widely known as 'a phone call to Putin.' 
  2. ^ "My Only Thought Was To Escape The Torture". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 2009-01-21. Torture is so common in Russian police stations that the method used on Mikheyev even has a name: the "phone call to Putin." It consists of inflicting electric shocks through wires attached to the victim's earlobes. 
  3. ^ a b Yulia Latynina "Phone Call to Putin: A new method that the cops love. In the war against your own people, all tactics are good." (Russian) Novaya Gazeta 9 August 2004
  4. ^ "Putin reveals his need for G8". United Press International. January 31, 2006. Retrieved 2009-01-19. The first was that when Russian police torture a suspect these days, they attach electric wires to the victim's earlobes, turn on the current and call it a "zvonok Putinu," a phone call to Putin. 
  5. ^ Amnesty International report
  6. ^ Justice Report by Amnesty International
  7. ^ Torture and ill-treatment
  8. ^ UN Committee against Torture Must Get Commitments From Russia to Stop Torture
  9. ^ Torture in Russia "This man-made Hell" - by Amnesty International, 3 April 1997
  10. ^ Russia Report: February 6, 2006 by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
  11. ^ Police Are at War With the Russian People by Yulia Latynina "In Nizhny Novgorod, Alexei Mikheyev gave a ride to a young woman he knew. When she didn't come home that evening, Mikheyev was arrested. He was tortured in the usual way -- the way Indians tortured white settlers and Chechen fighters torture Russian contract soldiers. Among other things the cops attached electric wires to Mikheyev's earlobes, a technique they like to call zvonok Putinu, or 'a phone call to Putin.' Mikheyev confessed to rape and murder." Archived January 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.