"Kommersant" spoke with several friends Antonina Zimina, detained a few days ago in Kaliningrad and arrested on suspicion of high treason (Article 275 of the Criminal Code). All of them agreed to communicate only on condition of anonymity, two of them consider Ms. Zimina's arrest "strange" and "shocking", reminding that the former director of the Baltic Center for Dialogue of Cultures is known as a member of the Friends Club of the Gorchakov Foundation, established in 2010 on the initiative of the then Russian president Dmitry Medvedev. It is known that Antonina Zimina was sent from Kaliningrad to the FSB "Lefortovo" detention center; representatives of the public monitoring commission reported that the lawyer is working with her on purpose. In the media, there were already speculations about a possible exchange of Mrs. Zimina for the Russian woman arrested in the US, Maria Butina. Ms. Zimina has not commented on the matter in the FSB yet.
"Kommersant" interviewed several people who personally know Antonina Zimin, who was arrested on suspicion of treason in a few days ago. All of them agreed to communicate only on condition of anonymity. Two interlocutors called her arrest "extremely strange" and "shocking." "A calm, benevolent girl who adheres to pro-state views, I can not imagine what she might be guilty of," said one of her acquaintances. The second reminded that Antonina Zimina was banned from entering Lithuania, where her relatives live. "The Lithuanian authorities considered it, including because of cooperation with the Gorchakov Foundation, almost an accomplice to Russian special services and a conductor of Moscow's propaganda ideas. I do not believe that she could go to the gosizmenu, "- said another.
At the same time, two other friends of the girl said that she had a "carefree" and "adventurous" character. "Could get caught in stupidity," suggested one of the people who knew her. According to him, Antonina Zimina shared with several people information that "the special services of both Russia and Lithuania are pressuring her." "The Russians allegedly unsuccessfully persuaded her to cooperate for a long time, and the Lithuanian ones recently offered to work for them, in exchange promising to allow entry into the country. But she assured me that she rejected the proposal, "says a girl friend.
Another interlocutor of "Kommersant" remembered that the girl complained regularly about the lack of money and recently she was not officially employed anywhere.
At the same time, these two friends expressed doubts that Antonina Zimina would consciously cooperate with foreign special services.
On the site created by the decision of the then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in 2010 and who is supporting the public diplomacy of the Gorchakov Foundation, Antonin Zimin is listed as "an independent expert, a member of the Friends Club of the Gorchakov Foundation." Among her professional interests are listed "the identity of the political elite of Latvia, the policy of the Baltic States in relation to the Russian Federation." It should be noted that the Gorchakov Foundation had previously worked extensively in the Baltic direction, but then reoriented to other regions. The website of the foundation indicates that Mrs. Zimina represents Kaliningrad. But, according to several interlocutors of "Kommersant", she often visited Moscow, where recently her husband Konstantin Antonets lives.
Mr. Antonets is head of the non-profit organization "Baltic Center for Dialogue of Cultures" in Kaliningrad, which until 2016 was headed by Antonina Zimina. At the same time, an operating autonomous NGO with this name was registered on April 22, 2016. From communication with journalists, Mr. Antonets refuses, not answering phone calls and messages on social networks. Those media representatives who managed to contact him, he asked to "erase his phone number." The site does not have a site, it does not conduct any active activity at the moment. The office of the Baltic Center for Dialogue of Cultures could not be found at the address indicated in the business communications network.
Although in a number of publications Antonina Zimina was named a political analyst known in Kaliningrad, in the region she was only talked about in connection with her arrest.
No statements in the media or comments as an expert Antonina Zimin did not give. Earlier, the television channel Dozhd, referring to the acquaintance of Ms. Zimina, the head of the youth association "Juvenis" (Klaipeda, Lithuania), Alexei Greichus, said that in 2015 she was detained in Vilnius after a conference with the participation of local and Russian experts and deported to Russia. Friends of Antonina Zimina on Facebook are the relatives of a girl who live in Israel and Lithuania. On the questions of "Kommersant" about Ms. Zimina, addressed to them in social networks, they have not yet responded.
The latest information with the mention of the name Antonina Zimina on the website of the Gorchakov Foundation appeared in March 2014 in connection with the Baltic Dialogue project: the project was announced as "a platform for the exchange of views of young experts from Russia, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia", in 2014 it should was to pass for the third time. Members of the Friends Club of the Gorchakov Foundation Antonin Zimin and Alexei Sagaidak took an active part in the preparation of the event. In July 2014 at the International Youth Forum "Baltic Artek" a presentation of the Gorchakov Foundation was held, which was also conducted by Alexei Sagaidak and Antonina Zimina. Mr. Sagaidak heads the municipal autonomous institution "Youth Center" in Kaliningrad and is a deputy of the City Council. He told the press that since 2014 he had not had any joint business with Antonina Zimina.
A number of media reported that Antonina Zimina is cooperating with the Baltic Federal University named after Kant, but the university denied this information: "In accordance with Art. 43 of the Federal Law "On the Mass Media" we consider it necessary to inform that Zimina Antonina Konstantinovna has completed her postgraduate studies at the BFU named after M.Sc. I. Kant in 2012 (order to be deducted from October 20, 2012). She worked at the university as a junior researcher from June to December 2013 ". After that, Antonina Zimina did not cooperate with the institution, the representatives of the university stressed.
A deputy of the Kaliningrad Regional Duma Solomon Ginzburg said in an interview with the BBC that Antonin Zimin "seemed to be far from being able to sell his homeland."
Perhaps her detention is a symmetrical response to the detention in the US of Maria Butina (a Russian woman arrested on charges of acting in the interests of Russia in the United States. "" Kommersant "), Mr. Ginzburg suggested in an interview." They seem to be the same age, and like that , and the other to intelligence have nothing to do. "
According to representatives of Moscow's ONC, Antonina Zimina is in solitary confinement in Lefortovo, her condition is depressed, last week she asked for a visit to her therapist. With her working as an attorney for the appointment. The press service of the FSB Agency for the Kaliningrad Region refused to comment on the detention of Antonina Zimina. "Perhaps we will have some information for the press in the near future," the ministry said.