Belarusian fighter Alyaksei Kudzin sentenced to 2.5 years in jail over participating in protests

On August 11, Maladzechna district court passed a verdict in the high-profile case of boxer and MMA fighter Alyaksei Kudzin, who was detained in Russia at the beginning of 2021.

Alyaksei Kudzin was charged under Part 2 of Article 363 of the Criminal Code (‘resistance to a police officer or other person protecting public order in coincidence with the use of violence or the threat to use it’). In accordance with Belarusian law, the maximum penalty is up to five years of imprisonment. Warrant officer Yandola and Lieutenant Colonel Zoryn were recognised as the injured parties in the case.

Аlyaksei Кudzin. Photo:

Today judge Volha Dubovik has sentenced Alyaksei Kudzin to 2.5 years of imprisonment in a minimum security penal colony, human rights centre Viasna reports. It should be noted that public prosecutor Zhuk demanded the defendant get 3.5 years in jail.

In August 2020, Alyaksei Kudzin, a multiple world champion in kickboxing and Thai boxing, took part in the post-election protests in the town of Maladzechna. When internal troops were trying to grab him, he knocked out a policeman.

Alyaksei spent several weeks in a remand prison in Zhodzina; on August 21, he was placed under house arrest. Kudzin was charged under Article 363-2 of the Criminal Code (‘resistance to an officer of internal affairs or another person guarding public order’). On November 19, Alyaksei failed to show up at the hearing of his case and left Belarus for Russia, which resulted in the judge’s changing his measure of restraint; he was officially put on the wanted list. In January, he was detained in Moscow at the request of the Belarusian authorities.

Kudzin was seeking political asylum in Russia. The Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation (BSSF) sent a letter in defense of fighter Alyaksei Kudzin to the State Duma, the Prosecutor’s Office and the Russian Olympic Committee; about 300 sportspersons signed it, asking not to extradite him to Belarus. However, Russia delivered him into the hands of the Lukashenka regime in late July.

Boxer Kudzin’s appeal against extradition to Belarus dismissed