Day of Action 2018

City: Orenburg

Organisations: The Right of Everyone

TBC. Picketing the regional government, the regional court, taking a walk along the central street of the city (Sovetskaya street in Orenburg – a place of folk festivities) with the distribution of leaflets, stickers, posters. Finish the walk on the bus station and railway station where people can go to their homeland in their towns and villages having our leaflets in their hands and information in their hearts. Inform about action on personal pages, pages of friends and initiative groups on social networks in VKontakte and Facebook. Groups consists only of women.


City/Cities: Almetyevsk

Organisations: The FED Initiative Group

TBC. Action in two cities: in Almetyevsk and in Bugulma. It is planned to participate 15-20 people in each city. The action will start in Almetyevsk. T-shirts with the logo of the Global Action in places where people gather – this is the Park of Culture and cascade of ponds. We will distribute leaflets and small booklets to passers-by. In leaflets and booklets the absurdity of the persecution of people who use drugs, the harm of repressive drugpolicy and calls to end the war on drugs will be described. There will be glue stickers and badges to passers-by. Tell people why the war on drugs is lost. Then go to the neighboring town of Bugulma, where joined by 15-20 more local activists. Go to the main square of the city, and then to the park next to it, where the group will distribute leaflets, booklets, glue stickers and strip badges. In Almetyevsk and Bugulma discuss action to friendly media andpPreliminarily write a press release about the action.



City: Orsk

Organisations: ENPUD

Alena Asaeva, Mobilization Manager for ENPUD, held a single-person protest in the framework of “Support. Don’t Punish”, campaign and stood with a poster in front of the symbol of the city, which is a popular place among the locals.

“Any persecution of people who use drugs, is unacceptable and should be punished, regardless of the severity of dependence or other reasons why we use the substances banned half a century ago,” Alena Asaeva believes. “Everyone being of sound mind and memory understood long ago who exactly benefits from prohibitions and what is behind our troubles.”


City: Yekaterinburg

Organisations: LUNA Social Assistance Center

“LUNa Social Assistance Center” joined the international initiative for humane drug policy on June 26 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Our activists joined the “Support. Don’t Punish” campaign to support those who were subjected to the cruellest and inhumane treatment in our society – the people who use drugs. The action was held in three districts of Yekaterinburg. The lawyer of the Yekaterinburg Bar Association provided free legal advice to drug users. A total of 54 PWUD took part in the campaign and received legal assistance. The volunteers surveyed the people who were passing by and found out whether they would agree that people who use drugs should be imprisoned for possession of various illegal substances. All 15 respondents said that if a person wasn’t selling drugs that he or she shouldn’t be imprisoned but offered treatment instead.



City: Kaliningrad

The group of people on human rights protection in respect to the people using drugs carried out an action for Support Don’t Punish on June 26, 2018. Participants of the action in a number of 10 people met at 10 a.m. at the office which is provided by the friendly organisation. Participants of the action received leaflets, posters, t-shirts. Leaflets and materials were distributed to people in a clinic and stickers were placed in a narcological clinic. After, participants gathered in the office where an expert held a seminar connected with the use of drugs and possibilities of receiving alternative punishment in the form of a treatment.

City: St. Petersburg
Organisations: Trava, 228, Humanitarian Action, Marijuana March Saint-Petersburg

There was a mini-conference about alternative drug policy initiatives. Marina Akulova from “Humanitarian Action” Fund talked about the programs that the Fund implements in working with HIV-positive drug users. Arkadiy Сhaplygin, lawyer and co-organizer of the Saint Petersburg Marijuana March, covered the fourth Marijuana March that took place this year in St.Petersburg on May 5th. Mariia Ulibegova, translator, highlighted the main human rights violations happening all around the world as a result of repressive drug policies. Gleb Paykachyov, secretary of “Russian Drug Users Forum”, spoke about the major points in the report that the Forum will present soon in front of the UN Committee Against Torture. Alexander Delphinov, poet, journalist, civil society activist and expert on international drug policy, talked about the fundamental contradictions of modern drug policy and the transition from militarised policing towards social and medical support of drug users. Vitaly Esipov presented the results of his work a month into the release of the “228” bot, shared which questions are most frequently asked by users, and what plans the 228 team have for the future.

Media Coverage:
“Support. Don’t Punish.” 26 June 2018. http://trava.education/supportdontpunish.
“Стоит ли легализовать наркотики в Санкт-Петербурге?” https://poisk.media/drug-legalization/.

Поддержать. Нельзя наказывать. СПб-2018.


City: Moscow
Organisations: Andrey Rylkov Foundation

  • Social workers from ARF talked with drug users on the streets of Moscow about drug policy in the Russian Federation, about the need to change the system towards support (not punishment), and about what small actions everyone can do for this purpose. Participants were given leaflets that described the mission of SDP. The action was present in different areas such as a soccer game where drug users from several areas of Moscow participated. Than there was s community meeting in a beautiful place under the bridge. At this meeting Russian drug policy was discussed and drug users answered questions about drug policy, criminalisation, stigma, and OST.
  • Andrey Rylkov Foundation (FAR) takes part in the international campaign “Support. Don’t Punish” for the fourth time. The mission of this campaign is to make drug policy issues visible. The initiative calls for ending the “war on drugs”, which means only one thing, and that is the war against people who use drugs. War, oppression, violence doesn’t work! People need support, not punishment. We need humane drug policy and evidence-based approaches to really change the situation. It is with these thoughts and words that ARF activists participate in the action every year. It all starts a week before the action, when they tell the participants during the outreach about the unfair drug policy and ask them to participate in the campaign. “If these words find a response in your heart-you can also join this campaign and make a small contribution to the change of drug policy in our country!”- says the call of ARF.
  • The activists decided to change the date of the action to June 30 this year because it was Saturday and would make it easier for the community representatives to participate. It all started with football. Drug users from different districts of Moscow and social workers gathered to play in their own small football tournament under the banner “Support. Don’t Punish!”. The huge banner with a campaign logo and slogan was made by our social worker Dima Green, who is also an artist.  The excitement of the game, minor injuries, rooting for the teams, interfering people on the field. Despite the uneven score 7: 6, our friendship and support won.
  • The next part of the event began. It was a   barbecue, during which the participants took part in the legal quiz on the rights of drug users and drug policy. The participants debated the issues and agreed that there was an urgent need to change repressive discourse of the current drug policy.

Media Coverage: «Мне важно, чтобы люди перестали считать наркозависимых животными.» https://spid.center/ru/articles/1992.



Media coverage

Support don’t punish 2018 in Moscow


Day of Action 2017

In Moscow, the Andrei Rylkov Foundation came together with the community on the eve of the Day of Action  to discuss alternatives to punishment and produce graffiti art on the issue. On the following day, the Foundation organised a gathering near the Ministry of Health. Lucy, a participant, said: “Drug policy in Russia, especially when it comes to my peers, can be described as police terror. Young people in the eyes of law enforcement authorities become suspects under Article 228, which gives police people the right to treat young people with impunity, as easy prey, as second class individuals”. Olga, another participant, said: “I was glad to participate because I think it is important to talk about this problem and involve as many people as possible to support people who use drugs. I trust one day we will be heard”. Jerzy, also in the gathering, said: “It was important to come, even if the Ministry of Health does not seem to give a damn. But at least passer-by can be engaged and informed about the problem of repressive drug policy in Russia. We hope this will encourage people to reflect, having seen us with posters and having read them”. Anna said: “Beyond it being a civic statement, for me, this gathering is a valuable opportunity for dialogue with society, and particularly political representatives who might never encounter us. THe words of support from passing young people is inspiring and makes me hope for change. In the absence of spaces to discuss these issues publicly, I want to believe that even small actions like this one contribute to translating to society the concept of rights and the principles of humanism, for all, as an alternative to repression against drug users”.

In Kaliningrad, members of the community of people who use drugs produced posters and shared leaflets to encourage people to advocate for humane drug policy, effective treatment and support, an end to discrimination and violence, and for the abolition of persecution and punishment against people who use drugs.


Day of Action 2016

OHI and ARF coordinated actions in Moscow, St Petersbourg, Ivanovo, Irkutsk, Ekaterinburg, Tolyatti, Samara, Alemetyevsk and Kaliningrad. Actions included social media outreach and a photo project, as well as sensitisation and outreach activities to provide information about human rights and the campaign to people who use drugs, and to gather their opinions about drug policies. An additional event took place in St Petersburg to provide HIV testing and consulting services with mobile laboratories, distribute t-shirts and take photos. A training on human rights was also held for clients of the City Narcological Hospital.

Video of the event

Media coverage


Day of Action 2015

For the third year in a row, the Andrey Rylkov Foundation organised a Support. Don’t Punish event in Moscow. They mobilised participants of their “harm reduction project” in Moscow, they created a Facebook group to collate photos from across Central Asia. An audio track was also recorded in support of the campaign, and activists gathered in front of the main building of the Federal Drug Control Service. The picketing in front of the Federal Office was inspiring, with nine activists holding signs with different slogans in support of humane drug policies, along the whole street in front of the Office, making sure that there was a 50 meter distance between each of them – in accordance with Russian law.

Video Clip

Media Coverage:


Day of Action 2014

The Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice coordinated a media release and photo shoot in Moscow – featuring members of the infamous Russian punk group “Pussy Riot”. Their engagement in the campaign helped to grab the attention of the media around the world.

Media coverage:


Day of Action 2014

The Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice coordinated a media release and photo shoot in Moscow – featuring members of the infamous Russian punk group “Pussy Riot”. Their engagement in the campaign helped to grab the attention of the media around the world.

Media coverage:  


Day of Action 2013


In Moscow, the “Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice” and partners held an action in front of the Federal Drug Control Service. The event aimed to highlight the harsh drug policies in Russia – with participants bringing placards, pretend skulls and instruments of torture as presents for the Russian drug police.

Activists also filed a petition based on a report in the Health and Human Rights Journal and calling for the development of more humane drug policies.

Lead organisation: Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice

Media coverage: