|28 June. The body of Yuri Smolentsev, who disappeared
on June 15, has been found in a pond. Yuri Smolentsev was the Chairman
of the independent trade union SOTSPROF at the Alumina Plant located in
the city of Achinsk. He had a long record of organizing strikes and
court actions on behalf of the Plant workers.
In the past two years, Yuri Smolentsev was a victim of two assaults. On one instance, he was stopped by a group of plain clothed men, who said they were policemen and told him to go with them to the police station. He refused and learned on the next day that those men were not policemen.
On June 25 Yuri Smolentsev was to participate in the court trial initiated by SOTSPROF against the management the Achinsk Alumina Plant for their refusal to pay their workers long service increment. If the corporation loses this case it will face up to 150 million rubles ($5 million) in losses.
Ten days before the trial, Yuri Smolentsev and his son went to their summer cottage in the country. When they arrived the son went to the store and when he came back his father disappeared.
The security service of "Russian Aluminum" (RusAl) -- the business empire of oligarch Oleg Deripaski, which owns the Achinsk Alumina Plant -- was more than once accused in using gangster like methods to intimidate labor activists. The workers of Kuzbass and the Krasnoyarsk Region, whose enterprises were bought by RusAl know in the last three years, know this all too well.
Yuri Smolentsev was a kind, courageous, energetic and responsible person. He was always ready to give all of himself in defending the rights and the dignity of the workers. He will forever remain in the hearts of those who knew him.
Big business that stands behind this crime hopes to preserve its power
over our society by terror and murder. Our resistance will be the
best memory of Yuri.