Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:56 am

Meet the Nihilist-Anarchist Network Bringing Chaos to a Town Near You
The FAI is a nihilist-anarchist organization whose members aren't out to protect anybody from the ruthless grip of inequality. They are not Hugo Chavez or Vladimir Lenin—they don’t care that your plight isn’t represented if you're just standing by with...
by Jake Hanrahan
Feb 13 2013, 8:50am

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On May 7th, 2012, two masked gunmen crept up on the CEO of nuclear engineering firm Ansaldo Nucleare outside his home in Italy. As their target—56-year-old Roberto Adinolfi—emerged from his house, the gunmen fired three shots at him. One shattered Adinolfi’s right kneecap. The attackers weren't petty extortionists or Mafia guns for hire, as was initially assumed, but members of what is considered to be a highly organized and shadowy left-wing terrorist organisation named Federazione Anarchica Informale—shortened to the FAI, or the Informal Anarchist Federation in English.

After the FAI had claimed the attack on Adinolfi, the mainstream press effectively attributed it to a bunch of trigger-happy Italian anarchists who were trying to imitate the Red Brigades—the Leninist-Marxist Brigate Rosse whose paramilitaries caused havoc in Italy throughout the 70s and 80s. In reality, the FAI actually holds no Marxist beliefs at all and have stated to me via an anonymous source that they have no affiliation with the Red Brigades whatsoever.

My source has taken many precautions and will only communicate with me via methods that are virtually untraceable, secretly handing me reams of FAI literature to sift through for research. The group's members are people who international security agents would very much like to sit down and talk to. Clearly they're anxious about police infiltration and take every precaution they can to protect the identities of their "comrades."

As demonstrated by Adinolfi's kneecapping (carried out because of his company’s affiliation with Italian defense conglomerate Finmeccanica, currently being investigated on corruption charges), the FAI’s MO is to carry out violent resistance against what they call the “European Fortress”—an FAI term for the unjust and oppressive forces they feel are running the continent.

Instead of peacefully handing out leaflets, they mask up and employ the full force of "direct action," proven by their many attacks like the bombing of private banks in Rome, the torching of surveillance towers in Russia, and the destruction of rail lines in the UK. They’ve also tried to send letter bombs to MEPs, which were either intercepted or didn’t explode (something the FAI says was an intentional scare tactic).

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Forensics officers studying the Adinolfi crime scene.

As an informal organization without leaders, hierarchies, or figureheads, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish exactly what it is the FAI is fighting against. But through the hundreds of pages of FAI manifestos, memorandums, communiqués, and a meeting transcript I’ve read through, it seems obvious that their main objective is to destroy any form of “state” or leadership throughout Europe.

They claim to fight alongside the impoverished who are downtrodden in their own lands by unfair foreign-trade deals, for a "true personal freedom where the individual can decide their own fate without having to be governed by anyone." They state that the “total destruction of market and hierarchy” would help accomplish this. It could, of course, also cause widespread famine and allow bloodthirsty, psychopathic criminals to run amok—we've all seen the Batman fillms—but the sentiment seems to only deal directly with the idea of the revolution itself, and not its aftermath.

According to them, the FAI isn't out to make friends or help fix society. Instead, they claim to "fight continuously to remove the status quo and to implement a completely new and free society." The FAI feels that the only way for such ideals to exist is to have a world with no government and no authority of any kind. However, no solidarity is shown for those already being oppressed if they’re not prepared for violent combat against their enemies, because this is apparently just adding to the oppression the FAI aim to destroy.

In essence, the FAI is a nihilist-anarchist organization. The members aren't out to represent you or to protect anybody from the ruthless grip of inequality. They are not Hugo Chavez or Vladimir Lenin—they don’t care if your plight isn’t represented if you're just standing by with your hands in your pockets. But, if you're fighting like they are—if you're reaching into those pockets of yours and pulling out a letter bomb or a pistol, for example—then they’re most definitely with you. Especially if you're taking aim at the "European Fortress."

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The aftermath of the FAI's Chile bank bomb.

The FAI's history runs back to the 90s and they're responsible for thousands of violent attacks, from blowing up banks in Chile to burning out cars belonging to Tory MPs and the Lord Mayor of Bristol. After sifting through the materials handed to me by the FAI, I still have no idea why they targeted the Lord Mayor of Bristol. And neither, judging by his quotes in this local news report, does he, but it seems his Toyota Prius and his wife's Ford Fiesta were deemed to be part of the European Fortress and so they had to die in the nihilists' fire.

Although officially founded as a movement in 2003, the FAI’s first recognized attack was in 1999, when they sent explosive devices to the Greek embassy, to an office of tourism in Madrid, and to a branch of Citibank in Barcelona. They sent the explosives in the mail to show solidarity with a man named Nikos Maziotis, now infamous for his statement to the Athens Criminal Court, after he was arrested for putting a bomb in the Ministry of Industry and Development in Greece on December 12th, 1997.

After the 1999 mail bombs, FAI cells sent a torrent of incendiary explosive devices to organizations and journalists such as La Razón newspaper in Madrid, the church of Sant'Ambrogio, the court of Valencia, the Madrid Cathedral, and the Carabinieri (the national military police of Italy) in Genoa, which detonated and wounded one of the policemen. They've also sent out “parcels of dog shit” to two of their targets.

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These incendiary attacks were a further fight against prisons, more specifically the FIES isolation units. These units go mostly unreported in the media, which is probably because they're brutal isolation blocks within Spanish prisons where unruly inmates are sent for months and years on end. They have come to be the prison authority’s favored holding pen for anarchists and social prisoners, many of whom have reported extreme acts of daily, brutal torture at the hands of their guards.

The grim isolation blocks act as jails within jails, operating under the radar of the EU’s Human Rights Charter that Spain is supposed to adhere to. One anarchist by the name of Gabriel Pombo Da Silva (imprisoned for having a shootout with border officials in Germany) managed to escape from a FIES unit in February 2004, before writing a letter detailing his suffering there. Just four months later, his anarchist comrade Jose Antonio Cano killed himself at one of the isolation blocks in Barcelona after being imprisoned and reportedly tortured there for 12 years.

The attacks against FIES units following the 1999 parcel bombs are just a handful of the FAI’s successful missions. Due to the group's decentralized nature and total lack of leadership or hierarchy, the FAI are collecting a large number of associated cells that extend their reach across the planet. Acts carried out by the FAI's international comrades include the burning down of a school in Indonesia (because "school is a prison"), the (unplanned) shooting of two police officers in Greece, and the arson of a transmitter site near Bath in the UK just last month. The latter left 80,000 homes without TV and radio and caused hundreds of thousands of pounds' worth of damage.

"The entertainment industry is an important tool to manipulate human behavior," read the statement the culprits posted online to claim responsibility for the torching at Bath. "Without a steady supply of distractions it would be much harder to persuade people that their lives are satisfactory."

They dedicated the attack to a fellow anarchist named Xosé Tarrío González, who died in a FIES isolation unit in Coruna in 2005.

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CCF members Gerasimos Tsakalos and Panagiotis Argirou.

The benefits of having this sprawling, extended family of anarchist cells is that prospective members don’t need to meet or form a bond with anyone in the FAI to join the struggle. Because of that exact makeup, the FAI claim to have never been successfully infiltrated by undercover police agents.

Most notable of the FAI associates is the Greece-based Conspiracy of Cells of Fire (CCF), who effectively joined forces with the FAI in 2011 after a trial involving some of their members. As the FAI had done before them, the CCF launched their first wave of attacks on January 21st, 2008 to show unity with imprisoned anarchists. Members of the CCF detonated gas-canister bombs across the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki. Luxury-car dealerships had their expensive showrooms blown to bits and banks were completely gutted.

The CCF decided not to duck for cover after this first wave of destruction, instead proceeding to detonate bombs outside of police stations in the midst of the Greek riots, set fire to the top floors of the Rabobank building in Utrecht, bomb the Athens law court, bomb the homes of anti-immigration politicans and blow up the HQ of neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. They even sent explosives in the post to Angela Merkel, Silvio Berlusconi and other European heads of state, but they were intercepted, a lapse in execution you can probably forgive the CCF; they've been pretty busy.

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The fire at the Rabobank building in Utrecht.

In one of the documents I've read, the CCF speak the same message as the FAI from the very beginning: "The guerrilla has finally escaped the pages of books dealing with decades past and taken to the streets with ferocity," they say. "Because the urban guerrilla doesn’t offer utopian freedom. She allows access to immediate freedom."

After the collaboration, the FAI/CCF became stronger, more than tripling in size and becoming increasingly recognised for their violent resistance across Europe and much of the world. But despite the size of the groups and the numerous attacks being launched in countries internationally, the FAI still aren't recognized by America. The US has a Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) designation system. In its own words, “FTO designations play a critical role in our fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities.”

The fact that the FAI aren't yet on the list might be due to the fact that—unlike other terrorist organizations on the FTO system—they've yet to murder any civilians or innocent bystanders. Mail handlers having their hands burned by explosives and office workers being cut by flying glass in the crossfire of bomb attacks are of course deeply unsettling events, but evidence suggests that no civilian has ever actually been killed as a direct result of an FAI cell's attack.

Not that all FAI members are averse to the possibility of human “collateral damage.” In an FAI meeting transcript from 2006, a conversation is had between members about the accidental wounding of civilians.

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DO NOT SAY THAT WE ARE FEW [Italian FAI]
If the acts are the bullets that tear the flesh out of the capitalist world, then the theoretical foundations, thoughts and feelings are the rabid-firing weapons. Acts not accompanied by the meanings that inspired them are inconsistent moments devoid of the possibility of diffusion and appropriation, while thoughts and ideas not applied in practice result in dull discussions inside cafes and degenerate into another ideological sham.
On these foundations, rebellious groups and individuals communicated their attacks forming the Informal Anarchist Federation/International Revolutionary Front (FAI/IRF). The anti-authoritarian in-formalistic international network of insurgent groups and autonomous individualities that applies the direct action and sabotage against the State and the Capital but also the opposition of consciousness to every relation of Ppower, which is inculcated in all the way to the bottom of the social pyramid and translated into petit-bourgeois competition and possessive envy. The FAI connects the attacks and destructions in Italy, UK, Russia, Belgium, Finland, Holland, Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Indonesia and Greece, orchestrating the polyphony of nighttime explosions in view of the JOINT revolutionary aspirations and the JOINT struggle for freedom, thus creating an ocean of dialectics and communication in the ranks of the anarchists of the action.
LONG LIVE THE FAI/IRF, LONG LIVE ANARCHY!


“Why on earth do they [nonviolent anarchists] care about the safety of a postman or a secretary every time a parcel bomb is sent?” says somebody named as Archimede Pitagorico. “We need to show that we're serious, that we don’t hide behind tortuous reasoning and that we don’t have any problem to attack even at risk of life!”

Another member, named Paperina, says: “What a fucking rhetoric!”

“Let me finish,” says Pitagorico. “The problem is that we have too many scruples and that we never go further. We need to be more audacious with explosives and we don’t have to think that we can't hurt a secretary if the target is her boss.”

“It’s a matter of means,” says another member named Quo. “We have to be more selective: guns instead of explosives.”

The meeting goes on to talk about how FAI members have been extremely careful not to harm civilians, and that they’ve even “saved the guilty” by being cautious of the innocent.

With any group as large and geographically dispersed as the FAI, conflicting interests and contradictions are going to crop up every so often. The media have often focused on these inconsistencies more than they have the bigger parts of the puzzle—the mass bombings and gunshots at dawn, not to mention what the evidence points to: there are a growing number of people out there who feel oppressed to the point of taking up arms.

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It might be impossible to ever fully understand or report on the FAI with complete and total accuracy, due to the group's nature. They even say themselves that, “Any piece of writing, analysis, or critique that comes out of the FAI will never be a definitive one. Our informal federation is in constant evolution.”

The FAI is essentially the movement that many of these intermingling leftist-insurrectional anarchist cells operate under—they are to CCF, IRF, and the Earth Liberation Front what the PLO was to Al Fatah, PFLP, and PDFLP in the 70s. A quote from FAI members that neatly wraps up the message, struggle, and formation of the FAI: “We are one single thing without knowing one another. In our diversities, we are the hand that will break the chains.”

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A cross being chopped down in Russia.



Although you might not have heard about it yet, the FAI has been busy rattling said chains already this year, at least four successful attacks taking place in January alone. These include the firebombing of a bank in Russia, arson attacks on the home of a senior political figure in Indonesia, and the felling of some gigantic wooden religious crosses in Moscow.

In turn, the Italian authorities have stepped up their battle against the FAI, launching an antianarchist effort named Operation Ardire. Ardire charges the Italian police with raiding the houses of suspected anarchists, pulling them out of their beds and throwing them into jail. Bloggers simply showing their approval of an FAI attack have been targeted and locked up, according to the FAI, with some prisoners refused basic rights such as phone calls and visitors.

So don’t be fooled by the mainstream radio silence—the FAI is not some part-time group of activist students getting rowdy on the weekend, but an underground network of committed, established and violent anarchists. If you look at the UK government's current quest to slash benefits while it allows globe-straddling businesses to swerve millions of pounds' worth of corporate taxes, you can see why young people both in the UK and abroad are joining forces with the FAI to take action.
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:42 am

Pro-Church Activists 'Attack' Erotic Art Museum, Director Says
by The Moscow Times
Aug. 30 2012 - 00:08

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Two pro-church activists, [Dmitry Enteo] right and center, who barged into the Museum of Erotic Art late Tuesday, one of them holding what appears to be a Bible.



The director of Moscow's Museum of Erotic Art said "Orthodox militants" [Dmitry Enteo] stormed the museum late Tuesday, causing the receptionist to flee out of fear for her life.

Alexander Donskoi, who Interfax identified as the director of the museum, said in a message on his Facebook page that the activists "attacked" the museum holding a brick. Donskoi did not specify what, if anything, the activists did or said while inside the museum.

A photo of the activists posted on Facebook by Donskoi shows two men who appeared in a widely circulated YouTube video in which pro-church activists rebuke a diner at a Mu-mu cafe for wearing a T-shirt expressing support for female punk group Pussy Riot.


Security camera footage of the incident also posted on Facebook by Donskoi shows what appears to be a camera crew accompanying the activists. On Monday, pro-church activists with a crew from state-controlled NTV disrupted a theater event about Pussy Riot at Teater.doc.

Donskoi called the incident at his museum extremism and linked it to his support for Pussy Riot, three of whose members were sentenced to two years in prison earlier this month for performing a song deriding President Vladimir Putin at Christ the Savior Cathedral.

"Today Orthodox militants punish us for supporting Pussy Riot, threatening our lives and tearing clothes off simple passersby, and tomorrow they'll go raid churches of other confessions and stab atheists. It is pure extremism," Donskoi wrote on his Facebook page.


He also called on law enforcement authorities to stop the actions of the "loathsome ... movement of Orthodox militants."

Donskoi is a former mayor of the northern city of Arkhangelsk, according to Interfax. Earlier this year, he announced the creation of his Party of Love by holding a demonstration in support of Pussy Riot in which party activists swam in a fountain at the GUM shopping center next to Red Square, the news agency said.
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:45 am

The most “orthodox” project from Dmitry Enteo
by Imperor: All about the Monarchy
6/24/14

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“Ban Leo Natanovich Sharansky” informs: Dmitriy “Enteo” is Tsorionov looking for sponsors for his new business project to create a religious media. “The infusion of at least 20,000 visitors a day,” – said the activist. However, what he says, you can see it for yourself at his screens.

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The most “orthodox” project from Dmitry Enteo News

Our resource has not yet written about the dog Orthodox adventures Dmitry “Enteo” Tsorionova, many of which resemble a madhouse of mischief. An activist who calls himself Orthodox, according to his own conviction, for a long time engaged Buddhism and spirituality and … sight. Sight that the greatest glory and riches of this world can be obtained by militant and arrogant “Encyclopedias” around to protect feelings of Orthodox believers.

Although if you look, Enteo and others with him cannot call themselves Orthodox. They do not love the neighbor, that is, break the commandment that Jesus gave us.

The goal of Christianity – not social service and charity, much less a crusade against the infidels, and the salvation and eternal life. The predominant activity Enteo crusade, taking the form of bullying in the absence of other instruments. By its actions it contributes to the negative perception of the Church. And it’s not in these perceptions. Speaking of the Christian language, these activists entice people to commit a sin in their thoughts, and thus take responsibility for this sin, despite the fact that the Christian must avoid sin.

Ancient preachers and missionaries carried the light of Christ to people through love, sincerity and care. Now there are almost disapeared, that would be their example shows what it means to true Christianity and true doctrine of salvation and the meaning of life. PR and monetization affect the ministers of the Church, outside the performance of rites and foreign charity has become a manifestation of faith among parishioners. Companion rescue instruments replaced salvation itself at best. At worst, the aim is material gain, and the Christian attributes and behavior – the means to achieve it.

If Enteo we see the defeat of his soul outside, material aimed at the destruction. In this sense, it is much closer LIH than the Russian Orthodox Church.
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:09 am

The Devil's Right Hand
by Kim Kelly
Oct 17 2016, 9:55am

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Religious fanatics in Russia want to 
strong-arm metal bands into silence.

This story appeared in the October Music issue of VICE magazine, a collaboration with THUMP and NOISEY.

In front of the Moscow Art Theater, a severed pig's head sat in silent protest, the words "To Tabakov" scrawled in black ink across its clammy forehead. Around the shrine, on April 1, 2015, Dmitry Enteo and the members of God's Will, his Russian Orthodox activist group, shouted anti-blasphemy slogans and theatrically crossed themselves. It's unclear whether the target of their ire, artistic director Oleg Tabakov, was present that day, but nonetheless, the group certainly achieved its goal of expressing disgust at the man's decision to stage Oscar Wilde's play An Ideal Husband. As the spokesperson for God's Will, Enteo—a slight man with a high forehead, a perennial self-satisfied smirk, and large, expressive eyes ripped straight out of a Pushkin verse—is no stranger to fomenting public chaos.

The Orthodox religious views he and the others share have led them to denounce any art that smacks of Satanism, homosexuality, or cultural deviance. His actions are typically showy and over-the-top; in addition to throwing pig heads and interrupting theater performances, some of his more colorful transgressions include tossing eggs at members of Marilyn Manson's band before a 2014 performance in Moscow, allegedly vandalizing an art show for showing "pornographic" images of Jesus Christ, staging a "missionary flashmob" in the capital's Darwin museum, and reportedly assaulting LGBTQ activists and Pussy Riot supporters.

Born Dmitry Tsorionov, Enteo participates in a burgeoning new wave of activism headed by young Orthodox religious fanatics: With a moral worldview of the 19th century, they attempt to spread their message using the technology of the 21st century. Their movement first gained notoriety in 2012, when Russian feminist punk collective Pussy Riot ignited a media firestorm after police arrested three of its members for performing the song "Punk Prayer" on the steps of Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior. In 2013, following Pussy Riot's protest action, Orthodox activists pressured lawmakers to set an example and strengthen the official penalty for sacrilege. As a result, legislators amended the Russian criminal code to add Article 148, which classifies "public actions, expressing clear disrespect for society and committed in order to insult the religious feelings of believers," as a federal crime; in other words, it outlaws blasphemy.

Today, Article 148 proved useful to Orthodox activists like Enteo, who is in large part responsible for shifting the hard right's focus away from operas and art shows to more populist art forms, like the perceived blasphemers in Western heavy-metal and hard-rock bands. With the law on their side, these young religious fanatics have made a habit of intimidating promoters, showing up to protest concerts, phoning in bomb threats, and threatening to call the Federal Migration Service to tamper with musicians' visas, all in service of their goal to rid Russia of these "satanic" elements.

On August 26, 2016, Orthodox activists sent a statement to the Russian police urging them to permanently ban American death-metal icons Incantation, Austrian black/death metallers Belphegor, and American dark-folk act King Dude, insisting that the bands promote Satanism and blasphemy. While Incantation seemed to have little trouble at its Russia dates, protesters appeared outside its Moscow show, and band members complained of being prohibited from saying their "blasphemous" song titles onstage, a provision that King Dude also encountered on a more recent run. "I am clearly not a Satanist," says King Dude's TJ Cowgill. But "I am a Luciferian, as I've said for many years now. I am in no way anti-Christian, and in that same regard, I am definitely not anti-Satanist."

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Enteo denied our request for an interview, but that's not to say he doesn't relish attention. "Thank God!" he tweeted after an anonymous bomb threat canceled a Marilyn Manson concert in 2014. After another Manson show, in Novosibirsk, Russia's third-largest city, was also canceled, Enteo told NBC News, "We cannot allow for something like that [a Manson performance] to happen again." Twitter appears to be Enteo's favorite social medium; in his bio, he aligns himself with the "God's Will movement, orthodox christian, right-wing, conservative, pro-life, pro-family, pro-gun, creationism, anti-communism, fusionism" and broadcasts his views on religion and politics, his admiration for failed presidential candidate Ted Cruz, and his own exploits to more than 50,000 followers. With his social-media acumen, millennial flair for spectacle, and almost pathological craving for attention, he's like an ultra pious Russian equivalent of Milo Yiannopoulos.

In 2014, Enteo also targeted American death-metal legends Cannibal Corpse, which had eight shows booked across Russia for an October tour. Enteo told Ria.ru that "we send mass requests to the prosecutor, the description of what is happening at the concerts of the group, the texts of their songs, which describe in detail the rape and murder of children." He went on to note, "At first, we will try to resolve this issue with the help of law enforcement agencies. If it does not work, [there] may be rallies, prayer meetings—mass protest in different forms."

Ultimately, three shows were canceled. Cannibal Corpse explained its understanding of the circumstances in a statement, writing, "In Ufa the power was turned off shortly before the show (we were told because the venue was late on rent), and in Moscow and St. Petersburg we were told that we did not have the correct visas and that if we attempted to perform the concert would be stopped by police and we would be detained and deported (prior to the tour we had been told that we did have the correct visas and that all of our paperwork was in order). Our show in Nizhny Novgorod also had problems. In that city we performed half of our set before being stopped by police. We were told the police needed to search the venue for drugs and that the show had to be terminated."

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These Cannibal Corpse cancelations came on the heels of a similar incident concerning Polish death metallers Behemoth. Religious protesters in Moscow sent the city mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, a letter condemning the group's concert program, writing that it "insulted the feelings of believers," and officials detained and then expelled the band from the country. On May 21, once Behemoth arrived at a club in Yekaterinburg, the police took the band members to the migration office, where they learned they did not have the proper visa for a live performance. Ultimately, Behemoth was fined 2,000 rubles (about $30) and deported after playing only four of 13 scheduled concerts in the country.

More recently, another extremist mouthpiece, Anatoly Artyukh, has jumped into the fray, using a more confrontational and even violent approach. Both he and Erteo are notoriously attention-hungry and have made very public appearances to spread their rhetoric and gloat about their successes in repressing Western metal bands. Our requests for interviews with Artyukh were not returned, but we know that the 55-year-old musician and former businessman heads up the St. Petersburg branch of Narodny Sobor (the "people's council"), a nationalist group closely allied with the Russian Orthodox Church, and has made his bones by stirring up hate against the LGBTQ community; he's lobbied to classify homosexuality and transgenderism as psychological disorders, distributed anti-gay literature to schoolchildren, and even created a ballet that condemns gays, abortion, and women without children.

Artyukh made headlines this past April when he spat in the face of an Austrian heavy-metal musician, Belphegor vocalist Helmuth Lehner, as the band arrived at the St. Petersburg airport to kick off its planned Russian tour. A video capturing the incident clearly shows Artyukh, a big man with a dark parka and hardened features, explaining his motivation—calling the band "perverts," "gays," and "Satanists" and promising "to do everything [he] can" to prevent "this freak show"—while citing Article 282 of the Russian criminal code, which prohibits "incitement to hatred or hostility, and humiliation of human dignity." After interrogating a hapless fan who'd been waiting at the gates to meet Belphegor, Artyukh strode up to the band members themselves and spat in Lehner's face; Lehner spat back and called for security. Artyukh continued to verbally harass him and his companions, including the American death-metal band Nile, and he threatened to have Belphegor's concert canceled. Artyukh and his henchmen closely followed the bands out of the airport, clearly begging for a fight; tensions came to a head after Artyukh struck Nile frontman Karl Sanders's arm.




Video of the incident, which was posted on YouTube, is uncomfortable to watch, and the result was even messier— Belphegor's St. Petersburg concert was canceled hours before stage time, and its Moscow concert devolved into farce, as the band was ordered to remove its backdrop and stage props, and Lehner was ordered not to sing on the track "Lucifer Incestus"; the sound engineer ended up muting the vocals for the rest of the show due to the band's lyrical content, and once the guys got offstage, they learned that their next two shows, in Ekaterinburg and Krasnodar, had been canceled too.

"Of course Belphegor will return to Russia," Lehner claims, though it remains unclear whether criminal charges will be brought against the band and succeed in barring it and similar acts from the country.

"The thing is," Lehner says, "I don't see Belphegor nor me as the victim. We did something right to piss those kinds of people off."

While it appears that Enteo, Artyukh, and their ilk primarily concern themselves with big-name artists—the better to draw attention to their cause—another recent incident shows how they've taken a passing interest in the local underground-metal scene. In April, Polish band Batuskha was forced to cancel two shows, stating in an email, "We had all the approvals and 'green light' from the Russian Police, immigration control and responsible officials. Unfortunately we received threats from extremists affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church stating that they will beat up and even kill people attending both shows. Since it's beyond our control and we are not able to assure that the concerts will be 100% safe for both the audience and us we are forced to cancel both of them immediately."

Local promoters have also been targeted. An American metal band (that spoke under the condition of anonymity to ensure the safety of the Russian promoter who put on its Moscow and St. Petersburg dates) arrived to play its first show, only to find that the promoter had been asked to sign a document declaring that the band wouldn't be endorsing anything blasphemous. It was also rumored that Orthodox-affiliated plainclothes policemen—"out of place older guys in white button-up shirts"—were seen lurking around the band's Moscow gig, but fortunately, none of them ran into any further trouble. The band seemed unruffled by the experience, though, commenting, "[We've] played Russia a few times already, and, yes, the first time [we] went there I was very aware of bands having some trouble there. It didn't make [us] not want to go to Russia; in fact, [we] would say that it had the complete opposite effect."

Perhaps that's the best way to approach a group of shadowy extremists who operate under a Russified version of the Westboro Baptist Church model—taking their wailing and gnashing of teeth in stride, and refusing to back down. For all the activists' bluster and the foreign bands' headaches, it's homegrown Russian metalheads who ultimately suffer, and while these Orthodox extremists have yet to fully focus their hatred on local scenes as they have with Western bands, Andrei P. of Novosibirsk-based funeral-doom band Station Dysthymia told us that people are still nervous about the possibility.

"The really uneasy part [is] that whenever you play or plan to attend a gig," says Andrei, "you're now always worried that someone's gonna show up to shit on your parade."

"I am Russian, I love my people and my country," he continues, "and that's why I think we need to fight against shit like this, be it related to music or anything else. I am not against religious people, but I think that just as I have no business telling them how to live their life, they also have no business imposing their beliefs on other people."

Photos by Anthony Tafuro
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:37 am

Topless against Putin: Femen activists protest in Italy ahead of Russia-Ukraine talks
by euronews (in English)
Published on Oct 16, 2014

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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:14 am

Please Wear Safety Gear! Femen activists cut down cross in favour of Pussy Riot.
Published on Aug 17, 2012

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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:03 am

Report on Monitoring of Incidents of Discrimination and Violence on Grounds of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity in 2014 -- EXCERPT
by Coming Out, LGBT Group
St. Petersburg
2015

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Table of Contents:

• Introduction
• Main Body: Analysis of Revealed Violations
o Hate Crimes (Physical Violence, Assaults
o Hate Speech
o Interaction with Police
o The Law Against “Propaganda,” Its Application and Consequences
o Outing and Persecution
o Refusal of Goods and Services
o Civil Rights Violations on the Grounds of Gender Identity
• Recommendations
o To the St. Petersburg Ombudsman
o To Law Enforcement Agencies
o To Courts
o To Educational Institutions
o To Medical Specialists Working With Transgender People
o To Non-Government Organizations

INTRODUCTION

This report is based on the results of the LGBT rights abuses monitoring program carried out by LGBT-initiative group “Coming Out” in St. Petersburg in 2014.

Since 2008, “Coming Out” has worked for the acceptance of human dignity and equal rights of each person by the government and society regardless one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. We organize workshops and round tables, public brochures, provide free psychological and legal assistance for LGBTIQ communities and their relatives, take on strategic court cases, and carry out a monitoring program of discrimination and other human rights abuses against LGBTIQ [1] [This report uses abbreviations “LGBT” (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people), as well as LGBTIQ (lesbians, gays, bisexual, transgender, intersex*, and queer people)] people.

The methodology of this research is a standard methodology of human rights abuses and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, developed by the Russian LGBT network together with ILGA-Europe and HURIDOCS.

Throughout the monitoring process, the monitoring program coordinator and volunteers collect narratives of the cases of human rights abuses and discrimination against LGBT people on the grounds of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Such monitoring is based upon four sources: 1. Victims and witnesses, 2. Mass media, 3. Information collected and passed on by other governmental and non-governmental institutions, 4. Internet messages (blogs, forums, websites).

All cases of abuses are put into a database, after which the coordinator of the monitoring program contacts victims and witnesses in order to check and confirm the information.

Some cases are put into the database by lawyers of “Coming Out,” who consult and provide legal assistance to victims of human rights abuses. Details of such cases are then also checked in communication with victims and witnesses.

Analysis of data gathered through monitoring allows us to highlight main problems present in the life of LGBTIQ communities and LGBTIQ activists in St. Petersburg in 2014.

Currently, the first problem of interest is hate crimes. In 2014 lawyers of “Coming Out” and other groups continued to work on cases of infamous attacks on LGBTIQ activists, but criminal cases are either not opened at all or are not qualified with the motive of social hatred. Assailants remain unpunished.

Several new attacks took place in 2014 during public actions or festival activities. At the same time, in the past year a new problem came to light: homophobic attacks which are not related to LGBTIQ rights activism, where assailants identify same-sex couples in public places as members of the LGBTIQ community and attack them.

Organized groups, which carry out attacks on members of LGBTIQ communities through the setting up of fake romantic dates, still operate.

Another remaining problem is homophobic and transphobic hate speech voiced by Saint Petersburg’s politicians and journalists who justify and legitimate violence and discrimination towards LGBTIQ people and support existing negative stereotypes. Since LGBT people are not legally recognized as a social group and are thus not protected under the Criminal Code of Russian Federation, the lawyers of “Coming Out” could not apply the existing legal, administrative, and criminal defense tools to situations involving hate speech in 2014.

Despite a series of positive examples of productive interaction with the police (defense of the public activities and their participants), specific problems remain in this field. For example, activists illegally arrested at public events and rallies in 2013 and charged with allegedly committed hooliganism were unable to receive any compensation payments. There were also allegations of blackmail by police.

The infamous Saint Petersburg law against “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism amongst minors” was repealed in 2014. Unfortunately, the abolition of this law is not a result of the authorities’ will to perform their duties in the area of human rights and non-discrimination, but only of a similar law having been passed on the federal level. Even worse, all the negative effects of the criminalization of “propaganda” are still present to their full effect due to the federal law. Thus in 2014, there was a legal case based the Russian Code of Administrative Offenses (CoAO RF) against one of city’s LGBTIQ activists. The law is sometimes used unofficially to discredit LGBTIQ activists in court cases unrelated to “propaganda”.

Another problem that emerged in 2014 is the so-called “outing” [2] [Outing is an act of disclosure of sexual orientation or gender identity of a person by others without that person’s consent; usually done in order to cause damage to that person’s reputation and/or initiation difficulties in professional or private life] of LGBTIQ persons and activists. This problem strongly affected schoolteachers, some of whom were forced to retire or were fired for “amoral activities” after their school administrations received “dossiers” and demands to fire these teachers from homophobic activists.

Finally, despite the relatively decent situation with transgender rights in St. Petersburg (in comparison to other Russian regions), abuses were found in this area as well. We have recorded cases of refusal to diagnose and issue medical reports to transgender individuals unless they divorce, as well as the outing and bullying of a transgender employee in an educational institution.

Thus, the monitoring and analysis of gathered information of the LGBTIQ communities’ situation in St. Petersburg reveals that members of this social group remain exceptionally unprotected from both the legal perspective and the perspective of existing law enforcement practices. In order to improve the situation of LGBTIQ people and LGBTIQ activists we provide a complex of recommendations to authorities, healthcare professionals, and human rights organizations.

MAIN BODY: ANALYSIS OF REVEALED VIOLATIONS

HATE CRIMES (PHYSICAL VIOLENCE, ASSAULTS)


The term “hate crimes” applies to criminal acts caused by prejudice and bias towards a specific group of persons. [3] [See, for example, the definition of Methodological Guide in OSCE Region “Hate Crimes: prevention and response” (2009), p. 15. URL http://www.osce.org/odihr/39821?download=true] Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, of which members of LGBTIQ communities and LGBTIIQ human rights defenders become victims, are crimes (often physical violence and assault) with the main motive of hatred or animosity towards homosexual, bisexual, or transgender people.

Several international organizations have developed a series of standards for governmental authorities to prevent and investigate homophobic and transphobic hate crimes, as well as to punish such crimes and compensate the victims. Thus, the recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe proposes to member states to provide effective, immediate and imparial investigation in such criminal cases, and to ensure that the motive relating to sexual orientation and/or gender identity would be used as an aggravating circumstance in determination of punishment. [4] [Recommendation of Committee of Ministers of European Council CM/Rec (2010) 5 (Appendix, parts 1 and 2).] As of 2012, The Committee Against Torture has recommended that Russian Federation will, without delay, impartially and effectively investigate all acts of violence and discrimination towards LGBT persons, to hold those found guilty responsible, to compensate the victims, to keep statistics of such crimes and the results of their investigation, and to publicly condemn attacks on LGBT persons and to hold informative educational programs among the police. [5] [Committee Against Torture: Final notes: Russian Federation CAT/C/RUS/CO/5 (2012). Paragraph 15.]

Despite the fact that the current revision of the Criminal Code of Russian Federation allows prosecutors to consider a motive of hatred towards a social group as an aggravating circumstance (paragraph “e” part 1 article 63 of the Criminal Code) or as a qualifying factor (in particular paragraph “l” part 2 article 105, paragraph “e” part 2 article 111, paragraph “e” part 2 article 112 CC RF), according to our data, it has never happened in the criminal practice of St. Petersburg.

It is necessary to highlight that as of 2015, The UN Committee on Human Rights has recommended that Russia “undertakes all necessary measures to strengthen legal protections of LGBT people from discrimination and violence and provides investigation, criminal prosecution and punishment of any acts of violence, motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity of the victim, and applies paragraph “e” part 1 article 63 CC RF”. [6] ]Human Rights Committee. Final notes: Russian Federation. CCPR/C/RUS/CO/7 (2015). Paragraph 10.]

In 2014, our monitoring program has documented incidents of violence motivated by hatred towards LGBTIQ and also police reaction on reports of such acts and court cases that followed criminal charges. The collected data can be grouped in three categories: 1) attacks on LGBTIQ activists during LGBT-activities, motivated by homophobic and transphobic hatred, 2) attacks on LBGTIQ community members unrelated to human rights activism or other public activity, 3) attacks committed by luring victims to a fake romantic date (activities of groups like “Occupy-Pedophilia” have brought such attacks into the public arena). [7] [See, for example, part “Violence and Harassment against LGBT People and Activists in Russia”. URL: https://www.hrw.org/reports/2014/12/15/license-harm-0.

***

CASE A.8

One day prior to the opening of the festival, calls to disrupt the event appeared on multiple pages on social network “VKontakte” belonging to well-known homophobic activists and nationalistic groups.

On September 18, 2014, several hours before the beginning of the event, owners of the venue (art-space “Freedom” in business center “Kazanskiy”) terminated their lease to the festival’s organizers. [8] [See Case F1 for details] After the organizing team had left, a group of about ten people, among whom were the deputy of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg Vitaly Milonov, radical Orthodox activists Anatoly Aryukh and Dmitry Enteo (Tsorionov) attempted to break into the art-space “Freedom.” Vitaly Milonov was making offensive statements.

Approximately at 7:30 PM during the opening ceremony of “QueerFest,” a group of more than 10 people attempted to enter the new venue. Vitaly Milonov, Anatoliy Artyukh, Mihail Kuzmin, Dmitriy Enteo (Tsorionov) and Timur Isaev (Bulatov) were in that group. Security guards stopped these people from entering the venue, and the members of this group shouted out several insults. Then the doors were closed. Homophobic activists began to pour water on the security guards, as well as green antiseptic liquid on the attendants of the vent. The latter was poured through the holes between doors with syringes and hit people’s clothes and faces. Then the homophobic activists closed the doors from the outside, placing a metal hanging lock on them. After approximately half an hour, the same people attempted to enter the room through a different door. Guards prevented them from entering, and again they began to pour green dye on people through syringes. In addition they spread a pungently odorous substance through the cracks between doors. As a result, many participants of “QueerFest” began to feel unwell, but were unable to leave due to the fact that one of the doors was closed from the outside and aggressive homophobic activists were standing near the other. Some people who attempted to leave the venue were assaulted by homophobic activists; the aide of deputy Milonov punched one of the participants, Alexey Poskrebyshev, in the face. The police, despite the fact that they knew what was happening, were inactive and took steps to ensure the safety of the guests of the festival only after the St. Petersburg Ombudsman arrived on site. None of the assailants were detained. Six guests of the event filed complaints to the police on the spot, others did so later; overall, 26 complaints were filed. During the following day several people visited medical professionals due to health concerns. After the complaints were reviewed, one homophobic activist, so-called Timur Isaev, was charged with an administrative infraction. However, as became known later, police accidentally arrested the wrong person.

***

HATE SPEECH

Hate speech (or pronouncements of hatred) is a form of self-expression, which can be reasonably understood as incitement, proliferation, or support of hatred or other forms of discrimination towards lesbians, gays, bisexual or transgender people. [9] [Definition in Recommendation of Committee of Ministers of European Council CM/Rec(2010)5 Appendix, part 6).

International standards of human rights demand that governments ban and publicly refute such hate speech regardless of where they take place; [10] [Recommendation of Committee of Ministers of European Council CM/Rec(2010)5 (Appendix, part 6)]. they also demand increased education of public authorities and public institutions on all levels about their duty to abstain from hate speech, and especially those made via mass media. [11] [Recommendation of Committee of Ministers of European Council CM/Rec(2010)5 (Appendix, part 7)].

In March 2015, the UN Human Rights Committee recommended that Russian authorities “clearly and officially declare their intolerance of […] hate speech […] towards people due to their sexual orientation and gender identity.” [12] [Human Rights Committee, Final recommendations, Russian Federation. CCPR/C/RUS/CO/7 (2015). Paragraph 10.

Theoretically, Russian law allows conviction for homophobic and transphobic hate speech. As such, article 282 CC RF recognizes as a crime “actions, intended to incite hatred or aggression, and also to insult the human dignity of a person or a group of persons based on sex, race, nationality, language, social status, relationship to religion, as well as being a part of a social group [Author’s note: our highlight], which are made in public or with use of mass media or informational telecommunication networks, including the Internet.” CoAO RF provides liability for insults (article 5.61) and discrimination (article 5.62). Finally, the personal non-proprietary rights and non-material goods, for example the right of private and family life, right of non-discrimination and respect of citizens, can be protected by Civil Code (articles 150-152.2).

However, in practice, despite the fact that politicians of St. Petersburg and journalists allow homophobic and transphobic hate speech (deputy Vitaliy Milonov is especially known for such utterances), it is impossible to hold them liable and the tools of criminal, administrative and civil law are ineffective.

CASE B.1

Through 2014, court cases related to events of September 2013, when deputy Vitaliy Milonov came to the opening of International Festival of Queer Culture, publicly insulted participants and volunteers (including Kseniya Kirichenko, lawyer of “Coming Out”), have been continuing. Kirichenko’s request to the prosecutor to start administrative proceedings under articles 5.61 (“insult”) and 5.62 (“discrimination”) CoAO RF were unsuccessful. In October, the prosecutor’s office of Primorskiy district of St. Petersburg answered that it is impossible to begin administrative proceedings against the deputy, since the procedure of stripping of deputy immunity does not exist. The answer of the district prosecutor was appealed in Primorskiy District Court, which confirmed the legality of the answer on March 20, 2014.

CASE B.2

In 2014, another case concerning the incident with Vitaliy Milonov has continued. In November 2013, after the attacks on the office of project “LaSky” (see case A.3 above), in an interview to “Fontanka” newspaper, Vitaliy Milonov used a range of homophobic statements and statements justifying violence and violation of human rights of members of LGBT communities. In particular, he said that the attack on the office itself was a provocation planned by LGBT activists and the eye of the victim was hit “on complete accident.” The deputy has likened representatives and members of the LGBT community as murderers, saying: “These are not human rights, but the rights of the sick and perverts.” The complainant, injured in the attack on the office of the “LaSky” project has addressed the investigative committee with a statement about the crime, asking to check the statements of the deputy Milonov, and to start criminal proceedings with regard to hate speech.

However, through 2014 there were refusals to initiate the criminal proceedings. Throughout this period investigators have setup several examinations, some of which have confirmed the existence of “characteristics of insult, negative emotional evaluations and negative attitudes towards representatives of a specific social group (people with homosexual sexual orientation)” within Vitaliy Milonov’s speeches. The examinations also revealed that “this [Milonov’s] interview contains information that inspires action against the given social group, and specific language tools for intentional transmission of offensive characteristics in relation to a given social group.” At the same time, other examinations have shown that “people with homosexual sexual orientation are a group, however they cannot be clearly defined as a social group.” On this basis, and also listing the lack of evidence of intent in actions of Vitaliy Milonov, a denial of initiation of criminal proceedings was given. [13] [In particular, see a decree of acting investigator of the investigation department of the Central district of the Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg Lieutenant Justic Stephanov EA on the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings on 01/13/2014 based on inspection of reports of the crime number 1019 paragraph 13, the investigator of the investigation department of the Central district of the Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg Lieutenant Justice Sedyshev S.I. on the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings on 03/31/2014 based on inspection of reports of the crime number 1010 paragraph 13, the investigator of the investigation department of the Central district of the Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg Captain of Justice Yasman P.A. on the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings on 05/12/2014 based on inspection of reports of the crime number 1019 paragraph 13, the Investigator of the Investigation department of the Central district of the Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg Captain of Justice Yasman P.A. on the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings on 08/07/2014 based on inspection of reports of crime number 1019 paragraph 13; the investigator of the investigation department of the Central district of the Main Investigation Department of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation in St. Petersburg, Senior Lieutenant of Justice V.V. Vlasov on the refusal to initiate criminal proceedings on 09/11/2014 based on inspection of reports of the crime number 1019 paragraph 13.]

***

INTERACTION WITH POLICE

2014 saw the development of positive cooperation between LGBTIQ activists, the ombudsman’s office and the police in St Petersburg. As a result of this cooperation, a series of public events in support of LGBTIQ rights took place in relative safety. There were individual actions related to LGBTIQ or columns within public demonstrations. Police have provided security of activists, stopped provocations, and were holding themselves reasonably correctly.

However, the interaction of the police with the members of the LGBTIQ communities and LGBTIQ activists still has certain difficulties. Although all administrative court proceedings were terminated in cases against activists arrested in 2013 during the planned action on Mars Field, activists were unable to receive adequate compensation for illegal arrests. Besides this case, our monitoring program has revealed several cases of abuse and improper behavior of police towards LGBTIQ people.

CASE C.1

In 2014, the courts of St. Petersburg considered a range of civil cases to recognize police actions as invalid and to recover compensations for moral damages.

On October 12, 2013, LGBT activists had planned to hold a rally on Mars Field in light of the International Coming Out Day. Although the organization of the rally was carried out in full compliance with legal requirements and authorities were notified in advance of the planned action, it was impossible to hold it. By the time of the announced start of the rally, an aggressive crowd of people gathered at the site. Among the crowd were religious activists, two Orthodox priests with devotional articles, a Mufti, Cossacks, nationalists, and a man who had previously attacked LGBT activists and was at that time being prosecuted for those attacks, etc. The crowd of counter-protestors was 5-6 times larger than the number of LGBT activists, and they would not allow anybody to get to the place of the rally. These people surrounded LGBT activists and were yelling, insulting, and physically pushing them. The Cossacks stood in two rows at the exact site of the rally and were singing patriotic and religious songs. Police officers were present, but did nothing besides request the crowd get off the lawn. Police did not react on several demands to allow the rally to start, to detain the people who are committing physical and verbal assault, and to detain the people who are committing physical and verbal assault, and to detain the participants of an obviously unsanctioned counter-rally. Police officers did not answer which one of them was responsible for security at the site; many police officers refused to identify themselves. After some time, the LGBT activists, who were unable to get to the place of the rally, were detained by whole groups, put on police buses and taken to police stations. Some of the activists were released within three hours, while others were processed with the protocol and charges of administrative misconduct. Detained activists were charged with petty hooliganism, shown as verbal misconduct and offensive molestation of persons. Subsequently all cases were dismissed in city courts due to lack of evidence or lack of offense.

On April 24, 2014, Primorskiy District Court of St. Petersburg has dismissed T.’s case to recognize the actions of police as illegal. On October 6, 2014, the decision of the district court was upheld by St. Petersburg City Court. An analogous case of B. was rejected by Vasileostrovskiy District Court on October 22, 2014.

In December 2014, Petrogradskiy District Court partially granted I. and B. compensation for moral damages caused to them on October 12, 2013 by illegal actions of police officers. However, the amount of compensation awarded by the court was a hundred times less than the activists had demanded (the amount sought was 225,000, in accordance with the amount of compensation awarded in similar cases by the European Court of Human Rights). I. was awarded 300 rubles, and B. has received 2000. However, even these decisions were appealed by the police.

Treatment of detained LGBTIQ persons

We have learned of one case through the monitoring program, where the detained person was assaulted and then threatened on the grounds of his sexual orientation.

CASE C.2

On April 10, 2014, Ivan was arrested by police officers when he was drawing graffiti in the city with his friends. In the police station where he was taken, the police officers hit him several times. Then, the police have forced him to show them his “VKontakte” social network page, where they learned about his sexual orientation. Under threats of disclosing this information to his mother, the police officers demanded that Ivan does not report the physical violence in the police station against him. Ivan has not reported the incident for the fear of outing.

THE LAW AGAINST “PROPAGANDA”, ITS APPLICATION AND CONSEQUENCES

In 2014, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has expressed concern about the Russian law banning promotion of “non-traditional sexual relationships” and stressed that such laws “encourage stigma and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI), persons, including children, and children from LGBTI families.” The Committee has specifically noted that “the vague definitions of propaganda has led to the continued harassment targeted against the LGBTI community in the country, including through the verbal abuse and violence, especially towards juvenile LGBTI civil rights activists.” The authorities of Russia were recommended to repeal the existing laws on “propaganda.” [17]

In July 2014, the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg repealed the amendments to the regional administrative legislation establishing liability for so-called “propaganda of sodomy, lesbianism, bisexuality, and transgenderism among minors.” However, this was done only in connection with the adoption of the federal ban on “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors.” Federal law covers the territory of St. Petersburg and it continues to be used to persecute LGBTIQ activists, both formally, through the attempts to charge civil rights activists with administrative offenses, and informally, for example, through discrediting LGBTIQ activists in court.

CASE D.1

During the court proceedings on the suit of Ksenia Kirichenko, lawyer of “Coming Out,” against Vitaliy Milonov (see Case B.1 above), the representative of the defendant was trying to discredit the plaintiff’s side, referring to the law against “propaganda.” In this way, although insults made by Vitaliy Milonov were the subject of the proceedings, the defendant’s representatives to claim that “the activities of [LGBT organizations] are already declared unlawful and the Administrative Code prohibits the dissemination of such information.” The plaintiff responded that “the statements of the defendant made right now are irrelevant and insulting to my honor and dignity.” Subsequently, the defendant’s representative used the dialogue in the objections to the suit, characterizing them as follows: “From this episode we can see that the plaintiff takes offense at anything that does not follow her world views”; “it is important for the plaintiff to take offense at anything. Whatever [Vitaliy Milonov] would have said would have been taken as an insult.”

CASE D.2

On July 26, 2014, during the Gay Pride on Mars Field, activist Yevgeny Pirozhkov pulled out a sign stating, “Sodomy is sweeter than honey.” A few minutes later police officers approached him and demanded that he remove the sign because the inscription on it was promoting non-traditional sexual relations. When Priozhkov refused to remove the sign, the police officers appealed to the activists responsible for safety of participants with the request to prevent provocation. Pirozhkov still did not remove the sign. The police detained Pirozhkov and took him to police department number 78, where a report accusing him of the administrative misconduct was made. According to the report, Pirozhkov had “committed an administrative offense under part 1 article 6.21 of the CoAO RF”, specifically by “propagating non-traditional sexual orientation among minors, expressed through the dissemination of information, intended to form non-traditional sexual attitudes and to generate interest in such relationships in minors.” In the police report, there was no information about the full name of the victims or their place of residence; the place of the offense was recorded incorrectly. There was no explanation as to how the presence of a poster could form an interest to non-traditional sexual relations in a minor. A. Kim, who was near the action with his daughter, has filed a complaint against Pirozhkov. Kim has testified that, shortly before writing the complaint, he had met a person named “Aleksey,” who had asked that Kim file such a complaint. As can be seen from other photographs from the action, “Aleksey” shook hands with a representative of the Committee on Law, Security, and Order. At the same time, the documents confirming the kinship between Kim and a child were missing in the case file; police have also failed to collect appropriate proof while writing up the protocol on administrative offense. No proof was given in court during proceedings. Therefore, Pirozhkov’s defenders have suggested that this is a case of police provocation set up together with representatives of the executive authorities. The case was discontinued due to formal reasons.

OUTING AND PERSECUTION

In 2014 in Russia and, in particular, in St. Petersburg there was a rise in activity of organized homophobic groups that collect information on social media sites, and forums on LGBTIQ people or their supporters, information related to private life or social position was collected into files with commentaries, which were then posted to homophobic groups and were sent to the employers of those whose information has been collected. Especially serious harassment was directed at teachers; the homophobic activists sent their files to administrations of educational institutions where they worked with demands to fire teachers who “advocate perversion.”

One of such activists, who uses the name “Timur Isaev” (real name Timur Bulatov) and lives in St. Petersburg, has made claims that he was responsible for firing of 29 LGBT education workers throughout Russia. [18] [URL https://meduza.io/feature/2014/12/12/mo ... eto-amorat no (text in Russian) (date: 10/01.2015)] Human Rights Watch has documented seven cases (some of them in St. Petersburg), where LGBTIQ communities members or those who supports LGBTIQ were threatened with firing or were fired from their job in higher learning institutions, schools, or children’s educational centers. [19] [Report “License to Harm,” URL: https//www.hrw.org/node/130556/section/8 (date: 19.01.2015)]

The situation is complicated by the lack of effective and efficient mechanisms for the protection of personal data, including information about sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Unfortunately, administrations of the social networks, where files containing data of the victims were stored, did not react on the requests from the victims or from their supporters.

Persecutions and dismissals of educational workers

In 2014 our monitoring program registered several cases of persecution of LG-BTIQ educational workers by Timur Isaev (Bulatov). In some cases, educational workers who were persecuted managed to defend their right to work in school, sometimes with support from their colleagues.

***

REFUSAL OF GOODS AND SERVICES

Another problem faced by LGBTIQ people and LGBTIQ activists in St. Petersburg is the denial of access to services, when individuals refuse, on their own initiative or due to pressure from authorities, to provide service to people on grounds on homophobia or transphobia. In the absence of anti-discrimination norms and effective mechanisms for the legal protection from violation of rights in the legislation on circulation of goods and services, defending the rights of violated individuals becomes virtually impossible.

***

CASE F.3

In the fall of 2014, the same transsexual woman, Irina, faced discrimination when attempting to arrange a bank card of Sberbank. Previously she has faced difficulties in banks due to the fact that her documents show a different appearance and gender. Irina has requested a card from Sberbank with an individual design (the card had a six-colored rainbow). The card was created, but Irina was denied the right to receive it. Bank employees motivated the refusal by saying that the document do not reflect her appearance, and that the passport must not be hers. At the same time, Irina provided additional documents to the bank, together with a military card and a certificate stating that she is observed by a psychiatrist and is on her way to undergo gender reassignment surgery. While talking to the employees of the bank, Irina was also told that “it is not clear why such a card was allowed” and that “this is a wrong rainbow.” Irina wrote a complaint to the bank, but there was no answer. The problem remains unresolved.

CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS ON THE GROUNDS OF GENDER IDENTITY

Several cases recorded by our monitoring program are related to civil rights violations on the grounds of the victim’s gender identity.

From the perspective of the situation in Russia, the rights of transgender people in St. Petersburg are provided effectively. For example, a procedure exists that allows to change documents in an administrative way without going through the court system, the marriage license authority does not demand that applicants go through gender reassignment surgery, experienced doctors of different specialties are present in the city, who may provide services related to gender reassignment. [22] [See for details, for example: Kirichenko, K.A. Transgender people’s conditions in regions of Russia: document change and access to specialized medical help. Russian LGBT-Network, SPB 2011.]

However, transgender people still face violations of their rights in St. Petersburg, both in regard to going through special procedures to change their civil gender or interaction with medical professionals, as well as with the disclosure of personal information without consent.

Marriage as an obstacle to being diagnosed

The current Russian legislation does not establish a requirement of divorce for a diagnosis of “transsexualism” or for changing documents of transgender persons. Moreover, such a marriage is based on the provisions of the Family Code of the Russian Federation, and must be legally valid even after the civil gender reassignment of one of the partners, since divorce is a prerogative of married individuals themselves, and the list of grounds of invalidation of marriage is specific and does not include gender reassignment.

However, in practice, there are situations, where transgender patients are denied diagnosis and thus the issuing of medical certificates (without which official documents cannot be legally changed) on the sole grounds of a registered marriage.

CASE G.1

Irina, a transwoman, was examined by a psychiatrist to get a diagnosis and referral to surgery for sex reassignment. Prior to that, the doctor had observed Irina for about six months. The observation went well, and Irina had no reason to suspect that the final medical commission would deny her a medical certificate. The commission was planned for November 17, 2014. Shortly before it, on November 7, Irina entered into a form marriage with her female partner Alyona. Legally, the women had the right to form a marriage, since although Irina has had a feminine appearance for a long time and presents as female, the documents were still unchanged (they list her male name and a male gender marker). Journalists and group of LGBT activists were present at her wedding. The de-facto same-sex marriage was covered in the media and caused an aggressive response from anti-gay public figures, including deputy Vitaly Milonov. Irina came to her medical commission on November 17 with her new wife. People who were to be examined were called in turn, and Irina ended up going last. She was asked to enter alone, without Alyona. Doctors told Irina that they have no doubt that Irina is indeed transsexual and needs to undergo gender reassignment surgery, but refused to document the diagnosis, citing that Irina is married. When Irina tried to challenge the decision of the doctors, they started asking inappropriate questions (“Why do you need it?”). When Irina said that she was not going to divorce and sees no legal grounds for them to refuse her medical certiion on the grounds of marital status, the members of the commission replied that they do not want problems. As a result, a serious conflict took place between the woman and the doctors, and Irina left the commission without the certificate. The following day Irina contacted the psychiatrist and asked for at least an official confirmation that she was invited to the commission, but her request was refused. The doctor ignored subsequent attempts by Irina to contact him. Before the wedding, doctors treated her with understanding. Irina has decided to go to Moscow to a commission in another institution, where doctors are comfortable with marriages.

***

RECOMMENDATIONS

TO THE ST. PETERSBURG OMBUDSMAN


1. To promote the effective investigation, prosecution, and punishment of all violent acts motivated by sexual orientation and/or gender identity of the victim, and actions intended to incite hatred of enmity, or intended to humiliate a person or group of people due to their belonging to LGBTIQ, while taking into account the motive of such acts.

2. To continue to promote a dialogue between the representatives of the LGBTIQ communities of the region and the city authorities (including law enforcement agencies), for example, through joining round tables or trilateral meetings.

3. To continue to include data on discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender identity as well as other civil rights violations of members of LGBTIQ communities, supporters of LGBTIQ, in the Ombdusman’s annual report, as well as to consider the inclusion of “Rights of specific groups” as a section of the report.

TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

1. To ensure the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of all acts of violence motivated by sexual orientation and/or gender identity of the victim, as well as actions aimed at inciting hatred or enmity, as well as humiliation of a person or group of people on the grounds of belonging to the LGBTIQ community.

2. To use, in classification and determination of punishment for such acts, provisions of the Criminal Code of Russia on the motive of hatred or hostility toward a social group.

3. To ensure the right to peaceful assembly in regards to public activities that relate to issues of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, including festivals, rallies and pickets, and ensure the security of such events.

TO COURTS

To consider in reviewing and resolving specific cases:

1. The decision of the Constitutional Court of Russia on September 23, 2014 Number 24-p (in particular “sexual orientation as such cannot be a valid criterion for establishing differences in the legal status of a person and a citizen”).

2. Recommendations made on the rights of LGBT (hate crimes and hate speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, application of the law on “propaganda”, etc.) made by UN treaty bodies established in accordance with the international treaties ratified by the Russian Federation, including recommendations of UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the UN Human Rights Committee (in particular, the need for recognition of LGBT as a social group, against which hatred and hostility is recognized as an aggravating circumstance).

TO EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

1. To provide measures to protect the labor rights of educational workers that are members of LGBTIQ communities or speak out for LGBTIQ equality.

2. To disallow persecution, harassment, and dismissal of educational worker that are members of LGBTIQ communities or speak out for LGBTIQ equality.

TO MEDICAL SPECIALISTS WORKING WITH TRANSGENDER PEOPLE

To disallow refusals to diagnose “Transsexualism” and issuance of medical certifications on gender reassignment, when such refusals are made due to the person having a undissolved marriage, since this requirement is not based on the law and violates the right to respect for private and family life of a transgender person.
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:17 pm

Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/14/18

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Georges-Charles d'Anthès

Baron Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès (5 February 1812 – 2 November 1895) was a French military officer and politician. Despite his later career as a senator under the Second French Empire, D'Anthès is mostly known for fatally wounding the eminent Russian poet Alexander Pushkin in a duel in 1837.

Career

Born in Colmar to aristocratic Alsatian parents, the first boy among six children, he was destined for a military career. He was therefore sent to Saint-Cyr, the premier French military academy, and, in 1830, as cavalry officer, he supported Charles X's party during the July Revolution. After the exile of Charles X, d'Anthès refused to serve under the July Monarchy, resigned from the army and withdrew to his father's home in Alsace.

As he was authorized by the French government to serve abroad without losing his nationality, he set off first for Prussia, then for Russia. In St. Petersburg, he succeeded in entering the Knights Guards of the Empress as cornet. Two years later, in 1836, he became lieutenant.

His family ties and good looks gave him access to St. Petersburg high society. It was there that he met the Dutch plenipotentiary to the court, Baron Heeckeren, who, after a lengthy correspondence and a journey to Alsace, proposed to d'Anthès's father that he adopt his son as his own heir. After the agreement of the King of the Netherlands, Georges-Charles d'Anthès took the name of Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès.

From booklet by Prince A. Trubetskoy: "...d'Anthès was known for his antics, quite inoffensive and appropriate to youths except the one, of which we learnt much later. I don't know what to say: whether he took Heeckeren or Heeckeren took him... All in all, ... in the intercourse with Heeckeren he was ever a passive partner".

D'Anthès met Pushkin and his wife, Natalia, a beautiful and flirtatious young woman who had many admirers. D'Anthès courted her in a compromising way. Soon after he was refused by Natalia Pushkina, a number of Pushkin's closest friends, as well as to Pushkin himself received copies of an anonymous lampoon on Pushkin. The lampoon was a mock letter awarding Pushkin the title of Deputy Grand Master and Historiographer of the Order of Cuckolds. Pushkin accused Heeckeren to be the lampoon's author, though the true author has never been established. Expert research ruled out Heeckeren authorship as the lampoon (written in French) contained errors extremely unlikely for a native speaker, and such authorship would have been too risky for a diplomat. In the complicated affair that ensued, D'Anthès married Natalia's sister, Yekaterina Goncharova, on 10 January 1837. It has been suggested that d'Anthès's engagement and marriage to Natalia's sister was devised to contradict society gossip that he was in pursuit of Natalia. In any event, this was not enough to settle the conflict between the two new brothers-in-law. After marrying Yekaterina, D'Anthès continued to behave provocatively with Natalie, instigating a new duel challenge.

On the evening of 27 January 1837, d'Anthès fired first, mortally wounding Pushkin in the stomach. Pushkin, who had fought several duels, managed to rise and shoot at d'Anthès, but only wounded him lightly in the right arm. As he lay on his deathbed, Pushkin sent a message to d'Anthès pardoning him of any wrongdoing. Pushkin died two days later, after which d'Anthès was imprisoned at Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg. Dueling was illegal in Russia, and d'Anthès was called to court, but he was pardoned by the Emperor. Stripped of his rank, he was escorted back to the frontier and ordered to leave Russia permanently. In Berlin, he was joined by his wife, and the couple returned to France, in his father's region. There he began a successful political career: as first president of the local assembly, then member of the National Constituent Assembly from 1848 to 1852, and, at last, irremovable senator from 1852 to 1870.


His wife died on 15 October 1843 while giving birth to their fourth child. He died on 2 November 1895 at his family house of Soultz-Haut-Rhin (Sulz/Oberelsaß), then part of the German Empire.

References

Biography: Baron Georges Charles d'Anthès de Heeckeren
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:34 pm

Nikolai Martynov
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/14/18

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

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Nikolai Martynov, watercolor by Thomas Wright

Nikolai Solomonovich Martynov (Russian: Николай Соломонович Мартынов) (1815–1875) was the Russian army officer who fatally shot the poet Mikhail Lermontov in a cliff-edge duel on July 27, 1841,[1] despite Lermontov's supposedly having made it known that he was going to shoot into the air.

References

Wikisource Ralston, William Ralston Shedden (1911). "Lermontov, Mikhail Yurevich". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 484–485.

External links

S. K. Kravchenko (1981). "МАРТЫ́НОВ Николай Соломонович (1815–75)" [Nikolai Solomonovich Martynov (1815–75)]. Lermontov Encyclopedia. Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 20, 2018. (in Russian)
L. M. Arinstein, V. A. Manuilov (1981). "ДУЭЛИ Лермонтова" [Duels of Lermontov]. Lermontov Encyclopedia. Great Soviet Encyclopedia. Retrieved March 21, 2011. (in Russian)
Brief Biography of Lermontov at faculty.virginia.edu with mention of the duel (in English)

*************************************************

Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov (1814-41)
by University of Virginia
Accessed: 8/14/18

Image

Mikhail Lermontov was descended on his father's side from a Scottish soldier named Learmont who had entered the Russian service in the 17th century. His mother was a member of the Stolypin family. She died when he was three, and he was raised by his maternal grandmother. Lermontov became interested in Byron at an early age, and the poetry he wrote in his youth reflects this interest: "No, I am not Byron, I am another / As yet unknown chosen one, / A wanderer, persecuted by the world as he was, / But only with a Russian soul...."

In 1830 Lermontov entered Moscow University and spent two years there. He became a Cavalry Cadet in 1832, and received a commission in the Hussar Life Guards, where he avidly pursued the image of the carefree, hedonistic, daring Guards officer. Due to his modest income and appearance, however, he made less of an impression in high society than he wished, and he would acutely recall the slights to his pride in later years. When Alexander Pushkin was killed in a duel in 1837, Lermontov wrote a biting and bitter poem blaming the court aristocracy for letting Pushkin be killed. The poem circulated in manuscript form, and it caused a sensation. Lermontov was court martialled and transferred to a regiment of the line in the Caucasus. He was soon pardoned however, and he was restored to the Guards. Now he returned to Petersburg, a kind of triumphal hero with the reputation of a persecuted poet. He could contrast this sudden fame and adulation with the disregard he had received from the same social set just a few years earlier.
His short novel, A Hero of Our Time, was written during the years 1838-39, and the imprint of Lermontov's personal experience is evident in the text. The novel appeared in print in 1840.

Lermontov's troubles with the authorities were not over, however. In 1840 he managed to insult the Tsar's daughter at a masquerade ball, and he fought a duel with the son of the French ambassador. For this, he was again sent to the Caucasus, where he distinguished himself in military action. Then, in 1841, while taking a rest in the spa town of Pyatigorsk, he became involved in a dispute with an old schoolmate named Martynov over the affections of a woman. Martynov had adopted native dress in an attempt to impress the woman, and Lermontov teased him mercilessly. Martynov challenged Lermontov to a duel, and on July 15, the young writer was shot to death on a hillside outside the town.
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Re: Act & Punishment: The Pussy Riot Trials

Postby admin » Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:52 am

Part 1 of 2

Nikolay Nekrasov
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 8/14/18

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Not to be confused with Nikolai Vissarionovich Nekrasov.



And you, stubborn heirs
Of fathers renowned for meanness,
Who with servile heel trod underfoot the shards Of families by Fortune frowned upon!
You, greedy crowd standing near the throne,
Of Freedom, Genius and Glory the hangman!
You hide behind the protection of law,
Before you, the court and truth—all is silent!
But there is also divine judgment, you cronies of corruption!
There is a terrible judge: he waits;
He is not swayed by tinkling gold,
And knows your thoughts and affairs beforehand.
Then in vain will you resort to slander:
It will not help you again,
And with all your black blood you shall not wash away
The righteous blood of the poet!


-- The Promise of Mikhail Lermontov, by Denise M. Henderson


Necro may refer to:

• necro-, the Greek prefix meaning death
• Necromancy, a type of magic
• Necrophilia, the sexual attraction to corpses
• Necropolis, a large ancient cemetery

-- Necro, by Wikipedia


Image
Nikolay Nekrasov
Nekrasov in 1870
Born Nikolay Alexeyevich Nekrasov
10 December [O.S. 28 November] 1821
Nemyriv, Russian Empire
Died 8 January 1878 [O.S. 28 December 1877] (aged 56)
Saint Petersburg, Russian Empire
Occupation Poet, publisher
Language Russian
Nationality Russian
Spouse Fyokla Viktorova
Signature

Nikolay Alexeyevich Nekrasov (Russian: Никола́й Алексе́евич Некра́сов, IPA: [nʲɪkɐˈlaj ɐlʲɪkˈsʲejɪvʲɪtɕ nʲɪˈkrasəf] (About this sound listen), 10 December [O.S. 28 November] 1821 – 8 January 1878 [O.S. 28 December 1877]) was a Russian poet, writer, critic and publisher, whose deeply compassionate poems about peasant Russia made him the hero of liberal and radical circles of Russian intelligentsia, as represented by Vissarion Belinsky, Nikolay Chernyshevsky and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

On who must be reckoned
The greatest of sinners:
"The publican," one says,
And one, "The Pomyéshchick,"
Another, "The peasant."
This last was a carter,
A man of good standing
And sound reputation,
No ignorant babbler.
He'd seen many things
In his life, his own province
Had traversed entirely.
He should have been heard.

The peasants, however,
Were all so indignant
They would not allow him
To speak. As for Klímka,
His wrath is unbounded,
"You fool!" he is shouting.
"But let me explain."

"I see you are all fools,"
A voice remarks roughly:
The voice of a trader
Who squeezes the peasants
For laputs or berries
Or any spare trifles.
But chiefly he's noted
For seizing occasions
When taxes are gathered,
And peasants' possessions
Are bartered at auction.
"You start a discussion
And miss the chief point.
Why, who's the worst sinner?
Consider a moment."
"Well, who then? You tell us."

"The robber, of course."

"You've not been a serf, man,"
Says Klímka in answer;
"The burden was heavy,
But not on your shoulders.
Your pockets are full,
So the robber alarms you;
The robber with this case
Has nothing to do."
"The case of the robber
Defending the robber,"
The other retorts.
"Now, pray!" bellows Klímka,
And leaping upon him,
He punches his jaw.
The trader repays him
With buffets as hearty,
"Take leave of your carcase!"
He roars.
"Here's a tussle!"
The peasants are clearing
A space for the battle;
They do not prevent it
Nor do they applaud it.
The blows fall like hail.
"I'll kill you, I'll kill you!
Write home to your parents!"
"I'll kill you, I'll kill you!
Heh, send for the pope!"
The trader, bent double
By Klímka, who, clutching
His hair, drags his head down,
Repeating, "He's bowing!"
Cries, "Stop, that's enough!"
When Klímka has freed him
He sits on a log,
And says, wiping his face
With a broadly-checked muffler,
"No wonder he conquered:
He ploughs not, he reaps not,
Does nothing but doctor
The pigs and the horses;
Of course he gets strong!"
The peasants are laughing,
And Klímka says, mocking,
"Here, try a bit more!"
"Come on, then! I'm ready,"
The trader says stoutly,
And rolling his sleeves up,
He spits on his palms.
"The hour has now sounded
For me, though a sinner,
To speak and unite you,"

Ióna pronounces.
The whole of the evening
That diffident pilgrim
Has sat without speaking,
And crossed himself, sighing.
The trader's delighted,
And Klímka replies not.
The rest, without speaking,
Sit down on the ground.

***

My brothers, how grievous
The sins of the nobles!"
"And yet not as great
As the sin of the peasant,"
The carter cannot here
Refrain from remarking.


-- Who Can Be Happy and Free in Russia?, by Nicholas Nekrasov


He is credited with introducing into Russian poetry ternary meters and the technique of dramatic monologue (On the Road, 1845).[1] As the editor of several literary journals, notably Sovremennik, Nekrasov was also singularly successful and influential.[2]

Biography

Early years


Nikolay Alexeyevich Nekrasov was born in Nemyriv (now in Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine), Podolia Governorate. His father Alexey Sergeyevich Nekrasov (1788-1862) was a descendant from Russian landed gentry, and an officer in the Imperial Russian Army.[3] There is some uncertainty as to his mother's origins. According to Brokhaus & Efron (and this corresponds with Nekrasov's 1887 autobiographical notes), Alexandra Zakrzewska was a Polish noblewoman, daughter of a wealthy landlord who belonged to szlachta. The church metrics tell a different story, and modern Russian scholars have her name as Yelena Andreyevna. "Up until recently the poet's biographers had it that his mother belonged to the Polish family. In fact she was a daughter of an Ukrainian state official Alexander Semyonovich Zakrevsky, the owner of Yuzvino, a small village in the Podolia Governorate," Korney Chukovsky asserted in 1967.[4] Pyotr Yakubovich argued that the metrics might have been tempered with so as to conceal the fact that the girl had been indeed taken from Poland without her parents' consent (Nekrasov in his autobiography states as much).[5][note 1] D.S.Mirsky came up with another way of explaining this discrepancy by suggesting that Nekrasov "created the cult of his mother, imparted her with improbable qualities and started worshipping her after her death."[6]

In January 1823 Alexey Nekrasov, ranked army major, retired and moved the family to his estate in Greshnevo, Yaroslavl province, near the Volga River, where young Nikolai spent his childhood years with his five siblings, brothers Andrey (b. 1820), Konstantin (b. 1824) and Fyodor (b. 1827), sisters Elizaveta (b. 1821) and Anna (b. 1823).[2][3] This early retirement from the army, as well as his job as a provincial inspector, caused Aleksey Sergeyevich much frustration resulting in drunken rages against both his peasants and his wife. Such experiences traumatized Nikolai and later determined the subject matter of his major poems that portrayed the plight of the Russian peasants and women. Nekrasov's mother loved literature and imparted this passion to her son; it was her love and support that helped the young poet to survive the traumatic experiences of his childhood which were aggravated by images of social injustice, similar to Fyodor Dostoyevsky's childhood recollections.[5][7][8] "His was a wounded heart, and this wound that never healed served as a source for his passionate, suffering verse for the rest of his life," the latter wrote.[3]

Education and literary debut

Image
Every summer Nekrasov would go hunting to his brother's estate of Karabikha near Yaroslavl (now a memorial museum).

In September 1832 Nekrasov joined the Yaroslavl Gymnasium but quit it prematurely. The reasons for this might have been the alleged trouble with tutors whom he wrote satires on (no archive documents confirm this)[9] as well as Alexey Sergeyevich's insistence that his son should join the military academy. The biographer Vladimir Zhdanov also mentions the father's unwillingness to pay for his children's education; he certainly was engaged at some point in a long-drawn correspondence with the gymnasium authorities on this matter. Finally, in July 1837 he took two of his elder sons back home, citing health problems as a reason, and Nikolai had to spend a year in Greshnevo, doing nothing besides accompanying his father in his expeditions. The quality of education in the gymnasium was poor, but it was there that Nekrasov's interest in poetry grew: he admired Byron and Pushkin, notably the latter's "Ode to Freedom".[2]

According to some sources he has been then 'sent' to Saint Petersburg by his father, but Nekrasov in his autobiography maintained that it was his own decision to go, and that his brother Andrey assisted him in trying to persuade their father to procure all the recommendations required.[4] "By the age of fifteen the whole notebook [of verses] has taken shape, which was the reason why I was itching to flee to the capital," he remembered.[7] Outraged by his son's refusal to join the Cadet Corps, the father stopped supporting him financially. The three-year period of his "Petersburg tribulations" followed when the young man had to live in extreme conditions and once even found himself in a homeless shelter.[2] Things turned for the better when he started to give private lessons and contribute to the Literary Supplement to Russky Invalid, all the while compiling ABC-books and versified fairytales for children and vaudevilles, under the pseudonym Perepelsky.[5] In October 1838 Nekrasov debuted as a published poet: his "Thought" (Дума) appeared in Syn Otechestva.[10] In 1839 he took exams at the Saint Petersburg University's Eastern languages faculty, failed and joined the philosophy faculty as a part-time student where he studied, irregularly, until July 1841.[8] Years later detractors accused Nekrasov of mercantilism ("A million was his demon," wrote Dostoyevsky). But, "for eight years (1838-1846) this man lived on the verge of starvation... should he have backstepped, made peace with his father, he'd found himself again in total comfort," Yakubovish noted. "He might have easily become brilliant general, outstanding scientist, rich merchant, should he have put his heart to it," argued Nikolai Mikhaylovsky, praising Nekrasov's stubbornness in pursuing his own way.[5]

In February 1840 Nekrasov published his first collection of poetry Dreams and Sounds, using initials "N. N." following the advise of his patron Vasily Zhukovsky who suggested the author might feel ashamed of his childish exercises in several years' time.[10] The book, reviewed favourably by Pyotr Pletnyov and Ksenofont Polevoy, was dismissed by Alexey Galakhov and Vissarion Belinsky. Several months later Nekrasov retrieved and destroyed the unsold bulk of his first collection; some copies that survived have become a rarity since.[8] Dreams and Sounds was indeed a patchy collection, but not such a disaster as it was purported to be and featured, albeit in embryonic state, all the major motifs of the later Nekrasov's poetry.[2][5]

Image
Nekrasov and Panayev visiting sick Belinsky. By A.Naumov

Nekrasov's first literary mentor Fyodor Koni who edited theatre magazines (Repertoire of Russian Theatre, then Pantheon, owned by Nikolai Polevoy), helped him debut as literary critic. Soon he became a prolific author and started to produce satires ("The Talker", "The States Official") and vaudevilles ("The Actor", "The Petersburg Money-lender"), for this publication and Literaturnaya Gazeta. Nekrasov's fondness for theater prevailed through the years, and his best poems (Russian Women, The Railway, The Contemporaries, Who Is Happy in Russia?) all had a distinct element of drama to them.[3]

In October 1841 Nekrasov started contributing to Andrey Krayevsky's Otechestvennye Zapiski (which he did until 1846), writing anonymously.[10] The barrage of prose he published in the early 1840s was, admittedly, worthless, but several of his plays (notably, No Hiding a Needle in a Sack) were produced at the Alexandrinsky Theatre to some commercial success.[3] In 1842 (a year after his mother's death) Nekrasov returned to Greshnevo and made peace with his father who was now quite proud of his son's achievements.[5]

In 1843 Nekrasov met Vissarion Belinsky and entered his circle of friends which included Ivan Turgenev, Ivan Panayev and Pavel Annenkov. Belinsky, obsessed with the ideas of the French Socialists, found a great sympathizer in Nekrasov for whom horrors of serfdom in his father's estate were still a fresh memory.[3] "On the Road" (1845) and "Motherland" (1846), two of Nekrasov's early realistic poems, delighted Belinsky.[11] The poet claimed later that those early conversations with Belinsky changed his life and commemorated the critic in several poems ("In the Memory of Belinsky", 1853; "V.G.Belinsky", 1855; "Scenes from The Bear Hunt", 1867). Before his death in 1848, Belinsky granted Nekrasov rights to publish various articles and other material originally planned for an almanac, to be called the "Leviathan".[3]

In the mid-1840s Nekrasov compiled, edited and published two influential almanacs, The Physiology of Saint Petersburg (1845)[note 2] and Saint Petersburg Collection (1846), the latter featuring Fyodor Dostoyevsky's first novel, Poor Folk. Gathering the works of several up and coming authors (Ivan Turgenev, Dmitry Grigorovich, Vladimir Dal, Ivan Panayev, Alexander Hertzen, Fyodor Dostoyevsky among them), both books were instrumental in promoting the new wave of realism in Russian literature. Several Nekrasov's poems found their way into the First of April compilation of humour he published in April 1846. Among the curiosities featured there was the novel The Danger of Enjoying Vain Dreams, co-authored by Nekrasov, Grigorovich and Dostoyevsky.[10] Among the work of fiction written by Nekrasov in those years was his unfinished autobiographical novel The Life and Adventures of Tikhon Trostnikov (1843-1848); some of its motifs would be found later in his poetry ("The Unhappy Ones", 1856; On the Street, 1850, "The Cabman", 1855). Part of it, the "St. Petersburg Corners", featured in the Physiology of St. Petersburg, was treated later as an independent novelette, an exponent of the "natural school" genre.[3][12]

Sovremennik and Otechestvennye Zapiski

Image

In November 1846 Panayev and Nekrasov acquired[note 3] a popular magazine Sovremennik which had been founded by Alexander Pushkin but lost momentum under Pyotr Pletnyov.

hold em up
it's a street arrest
and we're dealin with identity theft
you need a publication
i don't see why i got to
you need a press release
as to assimilate
journo-fascist profiteers
pornotastic pioneers
bonbonbastic puppeteers
get away from me
how can you write what we read
that ain't my reality
you disabuse humanity
humility
and fealty

-- Identity Theft, by Nellie McKay


Much of the staff of the old Otechestvennye Zapiski, including Belinsky, abandoned Andrey Krayevsky's magazine, and joined Sovremennik to work with Nekrasov, Panayev and Alexander Nikitenko, a nominal editor-in-chief. In the course of just several months Nekrasov managed to draw to the invigorated magazine the best literary forces of Russia. Among the works published in it in the course of the next several years were Ivan Turgenev's A Sportsman's Sketches, Dmitry Grigorovich's Anton Goremyka, Ivan Goncharov's A Common Story, Alexander Hertzen’s Magpie the Thief and Doctor Krupov. One of the young authors discovered by Nekrasov was Leo Tolstoy who debuted in Sovremennik with his trilogy Childhood, Boyhood and Youth.[3]

Nekrasov managed to save the magazine during the 'Seven years of darkness' period (1848-1855) when it was balancing on the verge of closure and he himself was under the secret police' surveillance.[10] In order to fill up the gaps caused by censorial interference he started to produce lengthy picturesque novels (Three Countries of the World, 1848-1849, The Dead Lake, 1851), co-authored by Avdotya Panayeva, his common-law wife.[3][13] His way of befriending censors by inviting them to his weekly literary dinners proved to be another useful ploy. Gambling (a habit shared by male ancestors on his father's side; his grandfather lost most of the family estate through it) was put to the service too, and as a member of the English Club Nekrasov made a lot of useful acquaintances.[3]


In 1854 Nekrasov invited Nikolai Chernyshevsky to join Sovremennik, in 1858 Nikolai Dobrolyubov became one of its major contributors. This led to the inevitable radicalisation of the magazine and the rift with its liberal flank. In 1859 Dobrolyubov's negative review outraged Turgenev and led to his departure from Sovremennik.[10] But the influx of young radical authors continued: Nikolai Uspensky, Fyodor Reshetnikov, Nikolai Pomyalovsky, Vasily Sleptsov, Pyotr Yakubovich, Pavel Yakushkin, Gleb Uspensky soon entered the Russian literary scene.[3] In 1858 Nekrasov and Dobrolyubov founded Svistok (Whistle), a satirical supplement to Sovremennik. The first two issues (in 1859) were compiled by Dobrolyubov, from the third (October 1858) onwards Nekrasov became this publication's editor and regular contributor.[14]

In June 1862, after the series of arsons in Petersburg for which radical students were blamed, Sovremennik was closed, and a month later Chernyshevsky was arrested. In December Nekrasov managed to get Sovremennik re-opened, and in 1863 published What Is to Be Done? by the incarcerated author.[3]

Image
Nekrasov in the 1860s.

In 1855 Nekrasov started working upon his first poetry collection and on October 15, 1856, The Poems by N. Nekrasov came out to great public and critical acclaim.[3] "The rapture is universal. Hardly Pushkin's first poems, or Revizor, or Dead Souls could be said to have enjoyed such success as your book," wrote Chernyshevsky on November 5 to Nekrasov who was abroad at the time, receiving medical treatment.[15] "Nekrasov's poems… brandish like fire," wrote Turgenev.[16] "Nekrasov is an idol of our times, a worshipped poet, he is now bigger than Pushkin," wrote memoirist Elena Stakensneider.[3][10] Upon his return in August 1857, Nekrasov moved into the new flat in the Krayevsky's house on Liteiny Lane in Saint Petersburg where he resided since then for the rest of his life.[10]

The 1861 Manifest left Nekrasov unimpressed. "Is that freedom? More like a fake, a jibe at peasants," he said, reportedly, to Chernyshevsky on March the 5th, the day of the Manifest's publication. His first poetic responses to the reform were "Freedom" ("I know, instead of the old nets they'd invented some new ones...")[17]

SAVYÉLI

"A mane grey and bushy
Which covered his shoulders,
A huge grizzled beard
Which had not seen the scissors
For twenty odd years,
Made Savyéli resemble
A shaggy old bear,
Especially when he
Came out of the forest,
So broad and bent double.
The grandfather's shoulders
Were bowed very low,
And at first I was frightened
Whenever he entered
The tiny low cottage:
I thought that were he
To stand straight of a sudden
He'd knock a great hole
With his head in the ceiling.
But Grandfather could not
Stand straight, and they told me
That he was a hundred.
He lived all alone
In his own little cottage,
And never permitted
The others to enter;
He couldn't abide them.
Of course they were angry
And often abused him.
His own son would shout at him,
'Branded one! Convict!'
But this did not anger
Savyéli, he only
Would go to his cottage
Without making answer,
And, crossing himself,
Begin reading the scriptures;
Then suddenly cry
In a voice loud and joyful,
'Though branded—no slave!'...

"Savyéli would gather
The berries and mushrooms
From spring till late autumn,
And snare the wild rabbits;
Throughout the long winter
He lay on the oven
And talked to himself.
He had favourite sayings:
He used to lie thinking
For whole hours together,
And once in an hour
You would hear him exclaiming:
"'Destroyed … and subjected!'
Or, 'Ai, you toy heroes!
You're fit but for battles
With old men and women!'
"'Be patient … and perish,
Impatient … and perish!'
"'Eh, you Russian peasant,
You giant, you strong man,
The whole of your lifetime
You're flogged, yet you dare not
Take refuge in death,
For Hell's torments await you!'...

[H]e told me the story.
"'The peasants in old days
Were serfs as they now are,
But our race had, somehow,
Not seen its Pomyéshchick;
No manager knew we,
No pert German agent.
And barschin we gave not,
And taxes we paid not
Except when it pleased us,—
Perhaps once in three years
Our taxes we'd pay.'...

"'The times were so blessed,—
And folk had a saying
That our little village
Was sought by the devil
For more than three years,
But he never could find it.
Great forests a thousand
Years old lay about us;
And treacherous marshes
And bogs spread around us;
No horseman and few men
On foot ever reached us....

They were good times!
In these days the Barin
Lives under your window;
The roadways go spreading
Around, like white napkins—
The devil destroy them!
We only were troubled
By bears, and the bears too
Were easily managed.
Why, I was a worse foe
By far than old Mishka,
When armed with a dagger
And bear-spear. I wandered
In wild, secret woodpaths,
And shouted, ''My forest!''...

"'At last our Pomyéshchick
Invented a new game:
He sent us an order,
''Appear!'' We appeared not.
Instead, we lay low
In our dens, hardly breathing.
A terrible drought
Had descended that summer,
The bogs were all dry;
So he sent a policeman,
Who managed to reach us,
To gather our taxes,
In honey and fish;
A second time came he,
We gave him some bear-skins;
And when for the third time
He came, we gave nothing,—
We said we had nothing.
We put on our laputs,
We put our old caps on,
Our oldest old coats,
And we went to Korójin
(For there was our master now,
Stationed with soldiers).
''Your taxes!'' ''We have none,
We cannot pay taxes,
The corn has not grown,
And the fish have escaped us.''
''Your taxes!'' ''We have none.''
He waited no longer;
''Hey! Give them the first round!''
He said, and they flogged us.
"'Our pockets were not
Very easily opened;
Shaláshnikov, though, was
A master at flogging.
Our tongues became parched,
And our brains were set whirling,
And still he continued.
He flogged not with birch-rods,
With whips or with sticks,
But with knouts made for giants.
At last we could stand it
No longer; we shouted,
''Enough! Let us breathe!''
We unwound our foot-rags
And took out our money,...

And so by the ikons
We swore all together
That next time we rather
Would die of the beating
Than feebly give way.
It seems the Pomyéshchick
Had taken a fancy
At once to our roubles,
Because after that
Every year we were summoned
To go to Korójin,
We went, and were flogged.
"'Shaláshnikov flogged like
A prince, but be certain
The treasures he thrashed from
The doughty Korójins
Were not of much weight.
The weak yielded soon,
But the strong stood like iron
For the commune. I also
Bore up, and I thought:
''Though never so stoutly
You flog us, you dog's son,
You won't drag the whole soul
From out of the peasant;
Some trace will be left.'...

He sent us a German.[48]
Through vast, savage forests,
Through sly sucking bogs
And on foot came the German,
As bare as a finger.
"'As melting as butter
At first was the German:
''Just give what you can, then,''
He'd say to the peasants.

"'''We've nothing to give!''...

''Well, if you can't pay
You should work, little peasants.''

"'''What work should we do?''

"'''You should dig some deep ditches
To drain off the bog-lands.''

We dug some deep ditches.

"'''And now trim the forest.''

"'''Well, well, trim the forest….''
We hacked and we hewed
As the German directed,
And when we look round
There's a road through the forest!...

And now he's established
A village ispravnik,
They live like two brothers.
His courtyard at all times
Is teeming with strangers,
And woe to the peasants—
The fallen Korójins!
He sucked us all dry
To the very last farthing;
And flog!—like the soul
Of Shaláshnikov flogged he!...

"'But how could you bear it?'

"'Ah, how could we bear it?
Because we were giants—
Because by their patience
The people of Russia
Are great, little Grandchild.
You think, then, Matróna,
That we Russian peasants
No warriors are?
Why, truly the peasant
Does not live in armour,
Does not die in warfare,
But nevertheless
He's a warrior, child.
His hands are bound tight,
And his feet hung with fetters;
His back—mighty forests
Have broken across it;
His breast—I will tell you,
The Prophet Elijah
In chariot fiery
Is thundering within it;
And these things the peasant
Can suffer in patience.
He bends—but he breaks not;
He reels—but he falls not

***

And Vlass, the old Elder,
Has placed his great palm
On the head of his godson.
"Is serfdom revived?
Will they drive you to barschin
Or pilfer your hayfields?"
Says Grísha in jest.
"The hay-fields? You're joking!"

"Well, what has gone wrong, then?
And why were you singing
'The Hungry One,' brothers?
To summon the famine?"
"Yes, what's all the pother?"
Here Klímka bursts out
Like a cannon exploding.
The others are scratching
Their necks, and reflecting:
"It's true! What's amiss?"
"Come, drink, little 'Earthworms,'
Come, drink and be merry!
All's well—as we'd have it,
Aye, just as we wished it.
Come, hold up your noddles!

-- Who Can Be Happy and Free in Russia?, by Nicholas Nekrasov


... and Korobeiniki (1861). The latter was originally published in the Red Books series started by Nekrasov specifically for the peasant readership. These books were distributed by 'ophens', vagrant traders, not unlike the korobeinikis Tikhonych and Ivan, the two heroes of the poem.[3] After the second issue the series were banned by censors.[10]

In 1861 Nekrasov started campaigning for the release of his arrested colleague, Mikhail Mikhaylov, but failed: the latter was deported to Siberia. More successful was his plea for the release of Afanasy Shchapov: the decree ordering the Petersburg historian's demotion to a monastery was retrieved by Alexander II.[10] After his father's death Nekrasov in May 1862 bought the Karabikha estate and since then has visited it on the yearly basis.[3]

In April 1866, after Dmitry Karakozov's attempt on the life of the Tsar, Nekrasov, so as to save Sovremennik from closure,[10] wrote the "Ode to Osip Komissarov" (the man who saved the monarch's life by pushing Karakozov aside) to read it publicly in the English Club. His another poetic address greeted Muravyov the Hangman, a man responsible for the brutal suppression of the 1863 Polish Uprising, who was now in charge of the Karakozov case. Both gestures proved to be futile and in May 1866 Sovremennik was closed for good.[10]

In the end of 1866 Nekrasov purchased Otechestvennye Zapiski to become this publication's editor with Grigory Yeliseyev as his deputy (soon joined by Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin) and previous owner Krayevsky as an administrator.[10] Among the authors attracted to the new OZ were Alexander Ostrovsky and Gleb Uspensky. Dmitry Pisarev, put in charge of the literary criticism section, was later succeeded by Alexander Skabichevsky and Nikolai Mikhaylovsky.[3]

In 1869 OZ started publishing what turned out to be Nekrasov's most famous poem, Who Is Happy in Russia? (1863–1876). In 1873 a group of narodniks in Geneva printed the misleadingly titled, unauthorized Collection of New Poems and Songs by Nekrasov, featuring all the protest poems banned in Russia, a clear sign of what an inspiration now the poet has become for the revolutionary underground.[10]
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