Another word for instigate

98 Synonyms of INSTIGATE | Merriam-Webster Thesaurus


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1 to bring (something volatile or intense) into being

  • the medical breakthrough instigated a whole new field of therapy
  • abet,
  • brew,
  • ferment,
  • foment,
  • incite,
  • pick,
  • provoke,
  • raise,
  • stir (up),
  • whip (up)
  • advance,
  • cultivate,
  • encourage,
  • forward,
  • foster,
  • further,
  • nourish,
  • nurture,
  • promote,
  • sow,
  • stimulate
  • detonate,
  • set,
  • set off,
  • trigger
  • excite,
  • galvanize,
  • inflame
  • (also enflame),
  • inspire,
  • motivate,
  • rouse
  • activate,
  • energize,
  • enliven,
  • fire,
  • invigorate,
  • jazz (up),
  • liven (up),
  • pep (up),
  • quicken,
  • stimulate,
  • vitalize
  • set in motion
  • bridle,
  • check,
  • constrain,
  • curb,
  • discourage,
  • hold,
  • inhibit,
  • regulate,
  • rein (in),
  • restrain,
  • tame
  • allay,
  • calm,
  • quiet,
  • settle,
  • soothe,
  • still,
  • subdue,
  • tranquilize
  • (also tranquillize)

2 to rouse to strong feeling or action

  • the charge that the scene in the movie had instigated teenagers to commit similar acts of vandalism
  • arouse,
  • encourage,
  • excite,
  • fire (up),
  • impassion,
  • incite,
  • move,
  • pique,
  • provoke,
  • rev (up),
  • spark,
  • stimulate,
  • stir
  • fan,
  • ignite,
  • inflame
  • (also enflame),
  • kindle,
  • trigger
  • activate,
  • animate,
  • drive,
  • energize,
  • galvanize,
  • induce,
  • inspire,
  • key (up),
  • motivate,
  • motive,
  • pump up,
  • quicken,
  • set off,
  • vitalize
  • abet,
  • ferment,
  • foment,
  • raise,
  • whip (up)
  • anger,
  • enrage,
  • madden,
  • upset
  • jeer,
  • taunt,
  • tease
  • aggravate,
  • annoy,
  • bother,
  • exasperate,
  • gall,
  • get,
  • irritate,
  • vex
  • build a fire under
  • calm,
  • soothe,
  • subdue,
  • tranquilize
  • (also tranquillize)
  • appease,
  • mollify,
  • pacify,
  • placate

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Frequently Asked Questions About


How does the verb

instigate contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of instigate are abet, foment, and incite. While all these words mean "to spur to action," instigate definitely implies responsibility for initiating another's action and often connotes underhandedness or evil intention.

instigated a conspiracy

In what contexts can

abet take the place of instigate?

In some situations, the words abet and instigate are roughly equivalent. However, abet implies both assisting and encouraging.

aiding and abetting the enemy

When is it sensible to use

foment instead of instigate?

Although the words foment and instigate have much in common, foment implies persistence in goading.

fomenting rebellion

When would

incite be a good substitute for instigate?

The meanings of incite and instigate largely overlap; however, incite stresses a stirring up and urging on, and may or may not imply initiating.

inciting a riot

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Time Traveler for instigate

The first known use of

instigate was in 1542

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Cite this Entry

“Instigate.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster. com/thesaurus/instigate. Accessed 25 Oct. 2022.

Style: MLA Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2022.">MLA Thesaurus, s.v. “instigate,” accessed October 25, 2022,">Chicago thesaurus. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from">APA Thesaurus, Accessed 10/25/2022.">Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on instigate

Nglish: Translation of instigate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of instigate for Arabic Speakers

INSTIGATE Synonyms: 54 Synonyms & Antonyms for INSTIGATE

See definition of instigate on Dictionary. com

  • verbinfluence, provoke

synonyms for instigate

  • abet
  • bring about
  • foment
  • incite
  • inflame
  • initiate
  • kindle
  • plot
  • prompt
  • spur
  • whip up
  • actuate
  • encourage
  • goad
  • hint
  • impel
  • insinuate
  • move
  • needle
  • persuade
  • plan
  • raise
  • rouse
  • scheme
  • start
  • stimulate
  • suggest
  • urge
  • add fuel
  • egg on
  • fire up
  • make waves
  • put up to
  • rabble-rouse
  • set on
  • steam up
  • stir up
  • turn on
  • work up

See also synonyms for: instigated / instigating / instigative / instigator

antonyms for instigate


  • deter
  • discourage
  • dissuade
  • halt
  • neglect
  • put out
  • stop
  • calm
  • conclude
  • depress
  • finish
  • ignore
  • repress
  • suppress
  • prevent

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

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How to use instigate in a sentence

Williams also knew that members of TheDonald community had indeed used the site to instigate the assault.


Others took pains to point out Keller is never shown instigating any violence toward Capitol Police, at least in the parts of the videos made public.


Plenty of professional athletes make use of this technique to perform under pressure, and one study found that you can instigate some small but significant muscle growth by simply visualizing an exercise.


The coronavirus pandemic has instigated civil unrest, an economic downturn and a public health crisis, but Ritchie Torres sees an opportunity for bold leadership to improve the nation.


In the case of Baltimore, as a ProPublica investigation explored in detail last year, a police pullback appeared to be an instigating element that combined with other problems to create a breakdown of civil order in the city.


Here the problem of food getting was fully solved and there was nothing to instigate any new step in evolution.


Behind him stood Temple, ever ready to instigate others to stab the objects of his hate.


Easy it was to instigate the ferocious spirit: in the heart of Sigurd stood his sword.


This idea had been always present to me, and had in no small degree conspired to instigate my exertions.


The want of money never stayed an Afghan raid—on the contrary it is more apt to instigate it.



  • advocate
  • back
  • condone
  • egg on
  • encourage
  • endorse
  • goad
  • incite
  • instigate
  • prod
  • promote
  • provoke
  • sanction
  • spur
  • support
  • urge
  • activate
  • animate
  • arouse
  • cause
  • drive
  • egg on
  • energize
  • excite
  • fire up
  • impel
  • incite
  • induce
  • influence
  • inspire
  • instigate
  • key up
  • mobilize
  • motivate
  • move
  • prompt
  • propel
  • put up to
  • quicken
  • rouse
  • spur
  • stimulate
  • turn on
  • work into lather
  • work up
  • activate
  • arouse
  • cheer
  • embolden
  • encourage
  • energize
  • enliven
  • exalt
  • excite
  • fire
  • gladden
  • hearten
  • impel
  • incite
  • inform
  • inspire
  • inspirit
  • instigate
  • invigorate
  • kindle
  • liven
  • make alive
  • move
  • quicken
  • revive
  • revivify
  • rouse
  • spark
  • spur
  • stimulate
  • stir
  • urge
  • vitalize
  • vivify
  • agitate
  • alert
  • animate
  • awaken
  • call
  • challenge
  • electrify
  • enliven
  • fire up
  • foment
  • foster
  • goad
  • heat up
  • incite
  • inflame
  • instigate
  • kindle
  • move
  • provoke
  • rally
  • rouse
  • send
  • spark
  • spur
  • stimulate
  • stir
  • thrill
  • turn on
  • wake up
  • waken
  • warm
  • whet
  • whip up
  • work up
  • agitates
  • alerts
  • animates
  • awakens
  • calls
  • challenges
  • electrifies
  • enlivens
  • fires up
  • foments
  • fosters
  • goads
  • heats up
  • incites
  • inflames
  • instigates
  • kindles
  • moves
  • provokes
  • rallies
  • rouses
  • sends
  • sparks
  • spurs
  • stimulates
  • stirs
  • thrills
  • turns on
  • wakens
  • wakes up
  • warms
  • whets
  • whips up
  • works up
  • activated
  • actualized
  • break ground
  • broke the ice
  • brought about
  • brought to passed
  • caused
  • commenced
  • created
  • did
  • drove
  • effected
  • embarked on
  • entered on
  • entered upon
  • established
  • eventuated
  • found
  • gave birth to
  • gave impulse
  • generated
  • get went
  • impelled
  • inaugurated
  • induced
  • initiated
  • instigated
  • instituted
  • introduced
  • launched
  • lay foundation for
  • led
  • made
  • made active
  • motivated
  • mounted
  • occasioned
  • opened
  • originated
  • plunged into
  • prepared
  • produced
  • set about
  • set in motion
  • set up
  • triggered
  • undertook
  • went ahead
  • went into

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

Synonym for the word instigator

  1. Main
  2. Linked words
  3. Synonym for instigator
  • All synonyms for the word instigator
  • 6 letters
  • 7 letters
  • 8 letters
  • 9 letters
  • 10 letters
  • 11 letters
  • 12 letters
  • 13 letters
  • 14 letters
  • 16 letters
  • 19 letters
  • 23 letters
All synonyms for the word "instigator"

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
1 agent instigator 19 letters Word
2 agent provocateur 16 letters Word
3 agitator 8 letters Word
4 troublemaker 7 letters Word
5 rebel 7 letters Word
6 rebel 9 letters Word
7 vabitel 8 letters Word
8 Disturber 8 letters Word
9 troublemaker 23 letters Phrase
10 hostile 12 letters Word
11 ringleader 8 letters Word
12 instigator 8 letters Word
13 instigator of a quarrel 14 letters Phrase
14 inspirator 10 letters Word
15 mutnik 6 letters Word
16 rider 8 letters Word
17 pusher 11 letters Word
18 guide 11 letters Word
19 setter 9 letters Word
20 tuner 10 letters Word
21 inducer 13 letters Word
22 knocked out 9 letters Word
23 beater 12 letters Word
24 negotiator 11 letters Word
25 arsonist 11 letters Word
26 prodder 11 letters Word
27 instigator 13 letters Word
28 dampener 11 letters Word
29 choke 10 letters Word
30 provocateur 10 letters Word
31 provoker 11 letters Word
32 nebulizer 11 letters Word
33 embarrassment 9 letters Word
34 troublemaker 7 letters Word
35 co-worker 11 letters Word
36 brawler 7 letters Word
37 troll 6 letters Word
38 teacher 8 letters Word
39 instigator 13 letters Word

Synonyms for the word "instigator" - 6 letters.

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
40 mutnik 6 letters Word
41 troll 6 letters Word

Synonyms for the word "instigator" - 7 letters.

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
42 troublemaker 7 letters Word
43 rebel 7 letters Word
44 troublemaker 7 letters Word
45 brawler 7 letters Word

Synonyms for the word "instigator" - 8 letters.

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
46 agitator 8 letters Word
47 vabitel 8 letters Word
48 Disturber 8 letters Word
49 ringleader 8 letters Word
50 instigator 8 letters Word
51 rider 8 letters Word
52 teacher 8 letters Word

Synonyms for the word "instigator" - 9 letters.

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
53 rebel 9 letters Word
54 setter 9 letters Word
55 knocked out 9 letters Word
56 embarrassment 9 letters Word

Synonyms for the word "instigator" - 10 letters.

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
57 inspirator 10 letters Word
58 tuner 10 letters Word
59 choke 10 letters Word
60 provocateur 10 letters Word

Synonyms for the word "instigator" - 11 letters.

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
61 pusher 11 letters Word
62 guide 11 letters Word
63 negotiator 11 letters Word
64 arsonist 11 letters Word
65 prodder 11 letters Word
66 dampener 11 letters Word
67 provoker 11 letters Word
68 nebulizer 11 letters Word
69 co-worker 11 letters Word

Synonyms for the word "instigator" - 12 letters.

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
70 hostile 12 letters Word
71 beater 12 letters Word

Synonyms for the word "instigator" - 13 letters.

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
72 inducer 13 letters Word
73 instigator 13 letters Word
74 instigator 13 letters Word

Synonyms for the word "instigator" - 14 letters.

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
75 instigator of a quarrel 14 letters Phrase

Synonyms for the word "instigator" - 16 letters.

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
76 agent provocateur 16 letters Word

Synonyms for the word "instigator" - 19 letters.

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
77 agent instigator 19 letters Word

Synonyms for the word "instigator" - 23 letters.

# Synonym Number of letters Synonym type
78 troublemaker 23 letters Phrase


Synonyms for the word instigator - these are words close in meaning to the word instigator, which can easily replace it in texts and in conversation. Total found synonyms for the word instigator - 79 pcs. They can include both words and phrases. Of the found synonyms, words - 74 pieces, and synonymous phrases - 4 pieces. Very often, especially when solving crossword puzzles, there is a question: "A synonym for the word instigator", therefore, our dictionary also presents the number of letters that make up one or another synonym. The smallest synonym for instigator has 6 letters, and the longest has 23 letters. You can find the desired synonym word by the number of letters using the table above, and specifically the number of letters column.

About synonyms

Without the words of synonyms in texts of various nature, whether it be narration, reasoning, motivation, one cannot do in overcoming the unjustified repetition of the same word. Also, the use of synonymous words instead of instigator is used in the literature as a way of linking adjacent sentences in a text. In the style of Russian literature, when a text is written, the repetition of the same words is identified as a tautology and is a gross lexical error. Thus, when presenting the text at the initial stage, one of the keywords of the synonym is used, and further along the text, synonyms that are suitable in meaning are already used, revealing and reinforcing the theme of the text for a broader presentation.

For example, the original word “instigator”, further, depending on the necessary applicability, is replaced by an agent-instigator, agent-provocateur, agitator, troublemaker, rebel, rebel, vavitel, troublemaker, troublemaker, hostile creator, ringleader, instigator, instigator of a quarrel , inspirator, mutnik, navadnik, pusher, inciter, inciter, instigator, inciter, inciter, inciter, instigator, arsonist, instigator, instigator, suppressor, suppressor, provocateur, provocateur, flare-up, embarrassment, troublemaker, mischief, quarrel, troll, apprentice ,instigator.

Do not forget that, due to their qualities, synonyms can be applied using the prefix “not” to antonyms, words that are opposite in meaning. At the same time, the lexical meaning of the formed word of the antonym with the prefix is ​​not also characterized as a synonym.

The word is characterized by a synonym and polysemantic words that form a complex phrase of words in their polysemy according to the lexical meaning of one of the words of the proposed synonym in the context.

In conclusion of what has been said, I would like to emphasize what an important role synonyms play in people's speech. The use of synonymous words and the ability to use additional resources in the form of dictionaries makes it possible not only to express one's thoughts in the most accurate and diverse way, but also leads to the enrichment and saturation of our native Russian language.

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Synonyms for authority

Synonyms for role

Synonyms for influence

Synonyms for power

Synonyms for breath

Synonyms for action

Synonyms for act

Synonyms for agitation

Synonyms for inspiration

Synonyms for authority

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The Supreme Court summarized the practice of the ECHR on crimes committed due to incitement by law enforcement officers

According to one of the experts, this document, unlike the previous one, is more meaningful and structured. The second suggested that the reason to return to this topic was the ruling in the case of Kuzmina and Others v. Russia, in which the ECtHR confirmed the existence of a systemic problem in Russian legislation regarding the provocative nature of police actions during ORM. The third drew attention to the fact that the topic of police provocation still causes difficulties for Russian law enforcers. The fourth one stated with regret that the document contains only the conclusions of the ECtHR, but there is no attitude of the Supreme Court towards them. The fifth noted that the institution of "special lawyers" could function in each subject of the Russian Federation.

The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation summarized the practice and legal positions of the ECtHR in cases where the issue of an alleged violation of paragraph 1 of Art. 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in connection with the commission by the applicants of crimes as a result of incitement by law enforcement officers.


According to an extract from the judgment of the ECtHR of 26 October 2006 in the case of Khudobin v. Russia, the European Court emphasized that it sees the difficulties faced by public authorities in the fight against serious crimes and the need to improve the methods of investigation, which are sometimes required in this context. In principle, the Court's case-law does not preclude reference, at the stage of the investigation of a criminal case and if the nature of the act permits, to evidence obtained as a result of an undercover operation by police officers, but the use of undercover agents must be limited; law enforcement officers can act covertly, but not engage in incitement, the ECtHR noted (p. 128).

In paragraph 46 of the Resolution dated December 15, 2005 in the case of Vanyan v. Russia, the ECtHR noted that the Convention does not prohibit referring to information obtained from anonymous informants at the investigation stage and when the nature of the crime so requires. Another thing is the subsequent use of their testimony by the court as a basis for convicting a person. The introduction of secret agents should be limited and provided with appropriate guarantees, even in cases of combating drug trafficking, the European Court emphasized. The requirements for a fair trial in criminal cases contained in Art. 6 of the Convention, lead to the fact that public interests in the field of combating drug trafficking cannot serve as a basis for using evidence obtained as a result of provocation by law enforcement officers.

The concept of “provocation” and its difference from legal secret methods of investigating a crime

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23 April 2021 News

In this section, the Supreme Court included the definition of provocation, enshrined in paragraph 37 of the Resolution of November 4, 2010 in the case of Bannikova v. Russia: “Police provocation occurs when the officials involved, who are either employees of the security forces or persons acting on their instructions, do not limit their actions only to the investigation of a criminal case, on the merits , in an implicit way, but influence the subject in order to provoke him to commit a crime that would otherwise not have been committed, in order to make it possible to detect a crime, that is, to obtain evidence and initiate a criminal case.

At the same time, in paragraph 47 of the Resolution in the case of Vanyan v. Russia, the ECtHR noted that if the crime was allegedly provoked by the actions of secret agents and there is no reason to believe that it would have been committed without interference, then these actions are no longer the activities of a secret agent and represent is an incitement to commit a crime. Such interference and the use of its results could undermine the principle of a fair trial, the Court emphasized.

To distinguish a provocation that violates paragraph 1 of Art. 6 of the Convention, from acceptable behavior when using legitimate covert methods in criminal investigations, the ECtHR has developed appropriate criteria. Since it is impossible to reduce the variety of situations that arise to a simple checklist of simplified criteria, complaints of incitement are examined on the basis of two criteria: substantive and procedural provocation (para. 86 of the Judgment of 20 April 2021 in the case of Kuzmina and Others v. Russia).

Material check of provocation

The document notes that the authorities must confirm that there are good reasons for conducting a covert operation. In particular, they must have concrete and objective evidence showing that the applicant took the first steps to commit acts constituting the offense for which he was subsequently prosecuted. Any information that authorities rely on must be verifiable.

Thus, in cases where the police proceeded with the test purchase immediately after the first report incriminating the applicant, and without any attempt to verify that information or consider other means of investigating the applicant's alleged criminal activities, the Court has found that the undercover operation involved incitement. On the contrary, if the test purchase was preceded by a series of measures (primarily court-sanctioned wiretapping) that provided material evidence of the applicant’s intent, and this evidence was then available for examination in open court, there was no entrapment (paragraph 88 of the judgment in the case “ Kuzmina and Others v. Russia).

It is pointed out that the European Court in the case of Teixeira de Castro v. Portugal emphasized that, apparently, the national authorities did not have sufficient grounds to suspect the applicant of having previously been involved in the sale of drugs: “... He had no criminal record and no criminal proceedings were initiated against him. In fact, he was not known to the police, who only contacted him through the mediation of V.S. and F.O. Furthermore, the drugs were not at the applicant's home; he received them from third parties, who, in turn, received them from another person ... Supreme Court decision of 5 May 1994 does not indicate that during the period of detention the applicant had more drugs than the police officers demanded. This would indicate that he went beyond provocation by the police. There is no evidence of the Government's argument that the applicant was predisposed to commit crimes” (para. 39 of the Bannikova v. Russia judgment).

Provocation check

The European Court indicated that it must examine the procedure for the examination by the domestic courts of the applicant's complaint of entrapment. In fact, as case-law testifies, the ECtHR considers the procedural aspect to be a necessary component in the study of such complaints (paragraph 51 of the judgment in the case of Bannikova v. Russia).

The European Court observed that in the absence of a complete verification system during the ongoing operation, the role of later control by the court of first instance becomes decisive (paragraph 135 of the judgment of 26 October 2006 in the case of Khudobin v. Russia).

As regards the principles of adversarial and equality of arms, the European Court considers these guarantees to be necessary when considering a complaint of entrapment, especially given the non-disclosure of information by the investigating authorities (paragraph 58 of the Bannikova v. Russia judgment).

The ECtHR has explored the possibility of using “special counsel” to compensate for the procedural injustice resulting from the failure to fully disclose documents in cases where there is a need to protect national security, but also considered this approach to be capable of violating the principle of equality of arms, depending on the importance of undisclosed documents. to the outcome of the trial (paragraph 63 of the Judgment in the case of Bannikova v. Russia).

Oksana Sadchikova, a lawyer for the Administration of the Stavropol Territory, in a commentary to AG noted that the institution of “special lawyers” could function in every constituent entity of the Russian Federation, and its effectiveness for defense purposes could be achieved if “special lawyers” had stable skills in analyzing as evidence on the subject of signs of deletion of information, and the behavior of the agent for compliance with the rule of "passive behavior". In addition, the “special lawyer” could require the disclosure of materials in whole or in part if there is an unreasonable tendency to classify information, the open study of which cannot lead to damage to state secrets, including the indication of specific persons, dates, places that must be encrypted before being presented in an open process.

Previous findings of the ECtHR in cases of alleged incitement

In relation to Russia, the ECHR has previously found that in police-controlled test purchases and similar covert operations, the police are not actually responsible for the behavior of their secret agents and informants due to a systemic flaw, namely the absence of an explicit and predictable procedure for authorizing such operations (para. 95 Rulings in the case of Kuzmina and Others v. Russia).

The Court has reiterated on numerous occasions that this remains a structural problem that exposes applicants to arbitrary action by state agents and prevents the domestic courts from effectively judicial reviewing their allegations of entrapment. He constantly established a violation of paragraph 1 of Art. 6 of the Convention due to the imperfection of the procedure for issuing authorizations and conducting test purchases of narcotic drugs and the failure of the domestic courts to properly address the applicant's argument about entrapment by taking the necessary steps to uncover the truth and eliminate doubts as to whether the applicant committed an offense as a result of incitement. Similar conclusions were drawn in relation to criminal proceedings related to similar undercover operations used to investigate corruption (para. 96 of the judgment in the case of Kuzmina and Others v. Russia).

Oksana Sadchikova considers it necessary to control the procedure for issuing permits and carrying out test purchases of narcotic drugs. “The purpose of such control is to objectively record all stages of the ORM in order to check whether the agent-informant has crossed the line and turned from a passive participant in an operational event into an agent provocateur. In a number of cases studied, the picture is as follows: from the very beginning, all the activities of the agent seem to be controlled and not recorded by anyone, including after the “appearance” of his consent to participate in the operational experiment, only the last stage of the ORM is carried out under audio and video recording - the transfer of money the person against whom the operation is being carried out. In such a situation, the risks of losing the opportunity to make an objective decision in the future, taking into account all the circumstances of the case, are very high. Instead of objective audio and video recording, there is often evidence in the case that is very easy to change as a result of pressure or fear of such pressure - witness testimony. Under fear of criminal prosecution, such witnesses - we are talking primarily about alleged intermediaries - are capable of any slander, if only to improve their situation, ”the expert noted.

According to Oksana Sadchikova, the way out is seen in a very limited use in proving the testimony of agents and intermediaries, and priority should be given to audio and video recordings. The use of testimonies should be possible only in exceptional cases when, in the presence of other specific and verifiable information, the person against whom operational measures are being carried out uses methods of conspiracy. In some cases, the use of audio and video equipment is basically impossible or extremely difficult, she explained.

Oksana Sadchikova pointed out that when carrying out operational activities, from the moment when audio and video recording becomes possible, it must be initiated and the necessary permissions obtained. This position follows from the judgment of the ECtHR dated January 2, 2013 in the case of Veselov and Others v. Russia: “123. ˂…˃ The initial stage of the operation, when Z. called the applicant on the instructions of the policemen and in their presence and asked him to sell drugs to her, was not recorded, and their further telephone conversations were also not recorded. The result of this omission was the same as in the other two cases, i.e. the authorities were deprived of the opportunity to prove that the applicant had intent to commit a crime.” and par 110: “˂…˃ In addition, the content of “Ruslan's” telephone conversations with X. was not taken into account, since they were not recorded. The conversations of the participants in the transaction, which were listened to by the police during the test purchase, were not recorded or otherwise recorded. The Court is mindful of the need for authorization of such recordings by the court. However, it does not appear from the case file that the time for the test purchase was insufficient or that there were other obstacles to obtaining such an authorization, whereas the evidence thus obtained would have been of high probative value in assessing whether the applicant had intent to commit a crime.

“We have repeatedly observed situations when, in the presence of information about audio and video recording of operational events (they are sometimes fragmentary), this evidence does not appear in the materials of criminal cases, and the prosecution refers to the fact that copies and originals have been lost. The operational services explain this, as a rule, by the fact that audio or video recording was not carried out, although there is evidence to the contrary, or the media was lost due to a technical error. In cases where official investigations are not carried out on such facts and the perpetrators are not held accountable, the conclusion is obvious that such actions are consistent with the management and services responsible for the safety of audio and video recordings,” the expert said.

According to Natalya Balogh, lawyer of the Administration of the Krasnoyarsk Territory, compared to the generalization of the practice and legal positions of the ECtHR in 2016, the document of 2021 is more meaningful and structured, since the material and procedural aspects of checking the presence of provocation in a criminal case are separated - a much more than visual simplification for law enforcers.

“Critically important, however, is the fact that since the publication of the previous document in 2016, there has been no proper judicial control and verification by the authorities of the applicant’s arguments about provocation by law enforcement officers in Russia since the publication of the previous document. This is confirmed by the information that by December 2020, the ECHR had issued 20 rulings on 121 complaints with similar arguments,” the expert emphasized.

Natalya Balog singled out the Ruling in the case of Kuzmina and Others v. Russia, which, among other things, addresses the widespread Russian problem of combining the roles of a source of information about criminal activity and a buyer in the production of ORM (that is, an agent who risks becoming an agent provocateur).

“Otherwise, the ECtHR continues to insist on the need for legislative regulation of ORM and a more sensitive attitude of the courts to the arguments of the applicants about the provocation, and also recalls the mandatory preliminary verification of information about the crime through various measures, not limited to operational experiment and test purchase,” she noted.

Availability of independent control over ORM and assessment of evidence by the court

The ECtHR stressed that the most appropriate guarantee regarding the conduct of a covert operation would be judicial review. This also applies to prosecutorial oversight (paragraph 63 of the Decree of October 30, 2014 in the case of Nosko and Nefedov v. Russia).

The Court also pointed to the need for a clear and predictable procedure for authorizing investigative actions, as well as proper supervision of them. According to the ECtHR, judicial review is the most appropriate remedy in cases involving covert operations (para. 90 of the judgment in the case of Kuzmina and Others v. Russia).

The European Court noted that in cases where the accused claims that a provocation was carried out against him, the courts considering criminal cases must carefully examine the materials of the case, since in order for the trial to be considered fair within the meaning of paragraph 1 of Art. 6 of the Convention, all evidence obtained as a result of a provocation by law enforcement officers shall be declared inadmissible. This is especially true when the operational measure is carried out in the absence of sufficient legal grounds and without observing the necessary guarantees (paragraph 56 of the Bannikova v. Russia judgment).

Experts drew attention to the need for legislative changes

Irina Khrunova, Managing Partner at Khrunova & Partners, noted with regret that the document contains only the conclusions of the ECHR, but the attitude of the Supreme Court to these conclusions and positions is completely absent. “We all, working in Russian courts, know that for a particular court in a particular criminal case, the opinion of the Russian law and the opinion of the Supreme Court, which interprets and explains the law, is primary. Undoubtedly, the Supreme Court's own conclusions, which would support the positions of the ECtHR, would greatly enhance the significance of the Generalizations for law enforcers, because even writing a thesis at a law school involves not only listing regulations on the chosen topic, but also presenting one's own conclusions, but here they are not at all . The question remains unresolved – whether the Supreme Court supports the conclusions of the European Court listed in the Generalization; does he encourage judges to follow them?” – said the expert.

Irina Khrunova called the Generalizations an important and necessary document, adding that lawyers pay catastrophically little attention to the practice of the European Court. “But this is a huge and important layer of court decisions with answers to many questions. The practice of the ECHR needs to be studied more and better, and if the Supreme Court disseminates information about it among Russian judges, this can only be welcomed,” she stressed.

The expert drew attention to the fact that in the decision in the case of Kuzmina and others v. Russia, which is repeatedly mentioned in the Generalization, there is an important part: the ECHR calls for changing the Law on OSA so that protection against provocations is maximum. “So far, the legislator has not spoken about such changes. There is not a word about this in the Generalization of the Supreme Court either. It is a pity that this was left without attention. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has the right of legislative initiative, enshrined in the Constitution and the Law on the Supreme Court. Nothing but the will prevents the Supreme Court from proposing amendments to the Law on OSA, especially since the position of the ECtHR proposes to strengthen the powers of the judiciary, endowing it with control functions over operational units,” Irina Khrunova summed up.

Director of the Center for Practical Consultations, lawyer Sergey Okhotin noted: among the few thematic generalizations of the practice of the ECtHR, the Supreme Court pays attention to the topic of incitement for the second time. The First Generalization, published in 2016, was updated by the latest practice of the European Court of Justice, and also received a clearer structure, highlighting the test for signs of provocation applied by the ECtHR.

The expert suggested that the reason to return to this topic was the Kuzmina and Others v. Russia judgment, in which the European Court confirmed the presence of a systemic problem in Russian legislation regarding the provocative nature of the actions of police officers during ORM, in particular, the lack of a clear and predictable procedures for conducting test purchases and operational experiments.

His colleague, lawyer of the Center for Practical Consultations Inessa Svechnikova, believes that the fact that more than half of the cases from the practice cited by the Supreme Court were accepted after the publication of the Generalization in 2016 gives reason to believe that the topic of police provocation, which by that time had already been well developed in the practice of the ECtHR, still causes difficulties for Russian law enforcers.

“It remains to be hoped that, until the systemic problem is resolved at the legislative level, the generalization of the legal positions of the European Court will help draw attention to the need for effective judicial control to prevent abuse,” the expert emphasized.

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