Artist Yelena Osipova holds a poster that reads, “Don’t believe in the justice of war,” during an unauthorized anti-war protest outside Kazan Cathedral in Petersburg on March 15, 2014. Photo by Sergey Chernov. See the rest of his photos from the protest here.
PUTIN (PUTIN’ UP)
Tip Putin in?
Put Putin in?
Tin put in input:
Tin put Putin in.
It put Putin up.
It put Putin in.
Put Putin in!
Putin putin’ it in . . . .
Putin put in input:
Putin put Putin up!
Putin put Putin in!
Up, Putin, up!
In, Putin, in!
Nip, Putin, nip!
Pin, Putin, pin!
Pin tin, Putin!
Nip tin, Putin!
Ni, ni, ni, ni!
“A Prayer for Peace,” Interior Theater, Nevsky Prospect, Petrograd, March 14, 2014
Russia and Ukraine are on the eve of a fratricidal war. This is madness! During these terrible days, it seems that words and actions have lost their meanings. We suggest praying for peace. By dedicating this day to praying for peace, we would like people, regardless of creed, nationality, and political views, to unite and say no to war.
The sticker reads, in part, “Work for ethnic Russians.” Photographed by The Russian Reader in the Petersburg subway.
A young Petersburg leftist, A.N., made the following comment on his Facebook page earlier today. What he says here is obvious to anyone with a brain and elementary powers of observation who has been living in Russia the past five or ten years (if not longer), but it had to be said now. People outside Russia who don’t understand these “alphabetical truths” (home truths), as the Russians say, should refrain from commenting on “the situation” in Ukraine and Russia.
It’s been funny watching as people absolutely incapable of doing anything at home in Russia have been vigorously calling for the “restoration of order” in a neighboring country, Ukraine. Day and night, they have been seeking out “fascists,” provocateurs, and victims on Maidan and in Crimea, while paying no attention to what has been happening right under their own noses.
The only thing these latter-day “antifascists” want to avoid seeing is that there has been fascism here in Russia for a long time already. It has been manifested in assaults on migrants, in the ongoing homophobic hysteria, in flagrant censorship, in cutbacks to social services, in political show trials and folks sent to prison for political or trade union activism, in the implantation of right-wing reactionary views in society, in increasing social stratification, in insane laws passed with such speed we don’t have time to react to them, and in many other things.
But this is of no interest to anyone, because it’s not a YouTube video or a comment on Facebook, and basically we got used to all of it long ago. And it’s okay: life goes on. And now our neighbors in Ukraine can get used to it, too.
On March 13, Mikhail Kosenko’s sentence will be appealed in Moscow City Court. Mikhail [who was declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International] was one of the Bolotnaya Square defendants, and he was sentenced [in October 2013] to compulsory treatment in a psychiatric hospital. His case was originally tried separately from that of the other defendants because of a disability. But his story really should be treated separately: it is so simple and straightforward, as if it were staged on purpose to make clear to anyone, even a child, that in Russia a struggle is underway not between two groups of people who hold different views on the country’s future, but between people and monsters.
Mikhail’s trial lasted almost a year. During this time, Zamoskvoretsky District Court Judge Ludmila Moskalenko did not permit Mikhail a single family visit, although she knew that Mikhail’s mother was ill and her health was deteriorating. And when his mother died in September without having seen her son again, Moskalenko refused to let Mikhail attend the funeral. Mikhail found out about all this, about his mother’s death and the fact he could not say goodbye to her, in a cell in Butyrka Prison from a REN-TV news report.
During the trial, defense attorneys presented videos and photographs showing that Mikhail did not even come close to police officer Alexander Kazmin, whom he allegedly kicked and hit, tearing off his ammo pouch. Four eyewitnesses corroborated that Kosenko had not touched the “victim.” When Kazmin himself testified at the trial, he was unable to identify Kosenko as the man who had assaulted him and refused to perjure himself. “I’m not Russian trash,” he said.
On October 8, 2013, Judge Moskalenko found Mikhail Kosenko guilty and sentenced him to compulsory treatment in a psychiatric hospital. His treatment could last indefinitely. If, by analogy with the old Soviet Union, we imagine that the Chekists [i.e., the Putin regime] will stay in power another fifty to sixty years, then there is every chance Mikhail will never get out of the madhouse. But even if he gets out in ten years or three years, the consequences could be irreversible. Mikhail really does have a [mild] mental illness and problems with communicating, but anyone who followed the trial over the last year would have come away convinced that Kosenko is an absolutely sane, reasonable and intelligent man. At the very least, read his statement in court.
“Palace” psychiatry is quite capable of turning this man into a vegetable, all because, two years ago, a certain man had his inauguration spoiled and took offense. On March 13 at 10 a.m. in Room 334 of the Moscow City Court (8 Bogorodsky val) we can try to prevent it from happening. Let’s try! Mikhail’s sister, nephew, and cat Musya (whom he took in from the streets), are waiting for him to come home.
Photo courtesy of Dmitry Borko and Amnesty International
An Appeal to V.V. Putin
Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich,
We have learned that you want to send troops to the Crimea to protect the rights of the Russian-speaking population.
In this regard, we have a big request: to send troops to the Vologda region. We are all entirely Russian-speaking and our rights are terribly infringed. Our patients cannot get the medical treatment and the drugs they need, the quality of our education gets worse by the year, children’s after-school clubs and study groups are being closed, and agriculture has been virtually destroyed. We are all suffering.
The invaders, who seized power through fraudulent elections, do nothing for the subject population. They spend money on themselves, on promoting themselves, on their offices and country houses, on apartments and charter flights.
We would be very grateful, and we guarantee that there will be no guerrilla war against the liberators. International sanctions will surely not ensure, either.
We have also learned that you are planning to spend a lot of money to normalize life in the Crimea. We humbly ask whether it is possible to spend the money on the normalization of life in the Vologda region. As it is, our region faces such a burden of debt that there is not enough money for anything. But we really need bridges, roads, sports facilities, industrial facilities, new jobs, and so on.
With respect and hope for liberation,
The Russian-speaking residents of the Vologda region
Source: Roman Romanenko
Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukrainian fascism is off to a flying start in the great man’s hometown of Saint Petersburg, Russia.
During [an anti-war demo on St. Isaac’s Square in Petersburg today, March 2, 2014] the following incident occurred. Elderly Petersburg artist Yelena Osipova, who regularly takes part in opposition protests and has even earned the nickname “Opposition Grandma,” was splashed with urine from a jar. The contents of the jar hit the woman in the face. Eyewitnesses say the person who did this immediately fled the scene. According to witnesses, the ruffianism was the handiwork of a supporter of Petersburg legislator Vitaly Milonov, who had come to the Mariinsky Palace [the seat of the Petersburg Legislative Assembly, on St. Isaac’s Square] from the October Concert Hall [the site of an official pro-war rally]. However, this information is as yet unconfirmed.
Yelena Osipova, St. Isaac’s Square, March 2, 2014. Osipova’s placard reads, “Ukraine: The occupation of sovereign Ukraine will separate Russia from its native Ukraine for a long time. V[alentina] Matiyenko [former governor of Petersburg, now speaker of the Federation Council, which yesterday voted to authorize Putin to send Russian troops to Ukraine] is Lady Macbeth. Saint Petersburg, 2 March 2014.” Photo courtesy of AC.
Around thirty people have already been detained during an anti-war protest action on St. Isaac’s Square today. Among the detainees was Stefania Kulaeva, director of the Memorial Anti-Discrimination Center. First, [Vitaly] Milonov’s “titushki” attacked [her] placard, then Milonov told police officers that Stefania should be arrested.