Arina’s Story

Arina, when did you date Arman?

Three years until the end of 2017.

That is, until the detention?

Yes, during the detention, I was his girlfriend. His mother called me even after his arrest. She called to all his girlfriends, at the very beginning, and she told that we shouldn’t meet with each other and say anything to each other.

What would you like to tell about Arman?

He infected me with HIV (I know that not only me). He constantly lied that no one was infected from him except me.

He demanded sex without condom according to the following scheme: aroused till the moment when “penetration is about to happen” and muttered under his breath that he had HIV. He didn’t agree to use condoms at all. He told one partner about HIV only after sex.

One of his partners didn’t agree to have sex without a condom, but he persuaded her to remove it in the process.

Have you considered filing a complaint to the police?

Yes, other victims that were infected with HIV and I were thinking about a class action lawsuit. But writing a report on transmission of HIV is hard. And I don’t think that we will be understood because of the gray zone of the law: although I said twice ‘no’ to sex without a condom and he warned me about HIV just a moment before penetration with quiet embarrassed voice. Eventually, I agreed. And no one cares about the fact that he put pressure on me and persuaded. As people like to say: “If I didn’t scream and didn’t resist, then it’s my own fault.”

When I just wrote a post in the VK (*russian analog of facebook) vegan community, three of his ex-girlfriends gathered there for a class action lawsuit, but it never worked out. Only one girl wrote me in PM but said that she knew more victims.

You know, the thing is that he told me that he had HIV. Just the moment before penetration, when I couldn’t think clearly.

But he said that he doesn’t have a viral load so he can’t transmit the virus?

Yes. He said that he has no viral load and he is not contagious. Although he didn’t had therapy at that time, so clearly he had a viral load and he knew about it. But he continued to insist and persuade after several rejections. And I don’t really know how to resist abusers and in generally i’m bad at resisting. That’s how it happened.

I know that he have told one of his partners about HIV only after unsafe sex.

What was your relationship like?

Arman – perverse narcissist, abuser. He had a relationship with a huge number of girls at the same time, usually from different cities (so they just wouldn’t meet and wouldn’t discover anything).

In communication with me he pretended to be incomprehensible suffering genius, devoted anarchist (“I’m all dedicated to the idea, just imagine how hard it is – my life does not belong to me!”), super-busy person (as it turned out later, he didn’t even have any job during all the time we kept in touch, for three! years).

He was constantly neglecting, depreciating, lying, cheating on me. As soon as I tried to talk about our relationship, he shouted at me that I am just pissing him off, that he had things to do and problems that were much more important than my feelings. After some time, I even began to believe in it (after two years, two years of eternal lies).

One year after we met I accidentally got access to his VK account (and began to read in retaliation for the fact that he once got into mine), and I was horrified: there were at least 15! (I had no strength to scroll below) other girls from different cities to which he wrote exactly the same messages as he did to me. He texted that he loves them and cannot wait until they gonna come to visit him in St. Petersburg, asked to send photos and called all of them as “sweet” and “dear”.

After that I was diagnosed with PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) and he promised that he will break up with others for my sake. He was really sorry and asked for forgiveness and said that he was just feeling bad and lonely. I forgave him because he was feeling so bad and stayed with him. But he did not fulfill anything promised, of course. All the time I caught him on cheating and lying, but he learned to masterfully lie, and I was already so weak that I believed everything and nothing changed.

As I figured out later in a conversation with his another long-term partner (who have also survived through 3 years of hell), when I gave him a smartphone, he said that he bought it himself. When I let him use the player for a while – he just gave it to another partner with the words “I thought about you,” and he did not return the player back.

When his cafe burned down, I gave him 60 thousand RUB (~850€), which I saved for moving to him, while I didn’t eat properly and worked to the bone. He bought a fireplace on them. Fireplace, you know? And left it somewhere at friends’ place, where he didn’t even live. All this time I was constantly sending money to him and so did his mother and another his partner. Once I asked him how he generally survived all this time (he just stayed at home near computer, although I even found a job for him). He replied: “all the time, I found myself serving girls.” He especially boasted of one rich partner that had her own apartment and home console. When I asked if he dates her only because of money he replied: “well, yes, my dick is for sale.” Although he assured me that he didn’t do that anymore.

Oh yeah, we were going to build a polygamous family, we even started talking with another girl who also regularly sent him money. And I was against it, but he kept convincing me all the time so I had no strength left to object. When I asked if we can have another male in the family, I received a soft but categorical “no” or “later”, but this “later” did not come for almost a year of living together. He demanded that I would wear makeup, lose weight and have love affairs at work but don’t have sex with anyone else. He wanted everyone to want me but I would belong only to him. And so he spoke not only to me.

He has an ex-wife and daughter. He visited his daughter with joy but then somehow let slip that “he wants to post photos with her on Instagram so that community will take him back (from which he was banned for the case of Zhenya, described in VK vegan community).”

Was he neglectful or violent to you?

He used me as a domestic servant, raped me (not only me but I won’t speak for others – they can tell it by themselves). He was very furious when I asked something uncomfortable: about his other partners or where I was. Once he took off one of his slippers and hit me with it in the face. He said that he would always do this if I asked about this.

Why did you date him? And other girls, what do you think?

He was choosing unhappy people with suicidal thoughts. Firstly he pretended to be good, and then it was already too late. He was keeping attention on your problems and was ready to pretend to be anyone for the sake of attention. I felt myself as stupid and naive, maybe even inadequate –  for a long time. And also he blamed me for everything that happened – both in transition of HIV infection and in the fact that I let him to morally and physically abuse me in this relationship (that i didn’t leave him after all violence). He is obviously a good manipulator. He likes to put you in awkward situations in order to lower your self-esteem. I was brought to tears in public places, although I asked to stop and shut up.

I want to ask you the last question: is Arman really vegan or not?

No, he doesn’t keep vegan diet in jail, although he says so. According to the words of a person close to him, who now supports him, “He ordered a chicken from the buffet”. He was also failing to keep eating vegan all the time before jail. He asked Anna, his ex-girlfriend, to get something non-vegan. And the fact that he is a profeminist is a blatant lie. And that he is not homophobic. He can write about love till death, but who will believe him now.

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