December 30, 2020
I had a poor year shooting photographs: there were few events in [Petersburg], and I missed some important stories due to my arm being broken. But in the end, it seems that the photos still piled up.
January 19, 2020. Activists of the Vesna Movement say goodbye to the Russia Constitution near the Constitutional Court in Petersburg.
January 31, 2020. Authorities analyze the debris after the Sport and Concert Complex (SKK) in Petersburg collapses.
February 1, 2020. Police detain a man for a picketing against proposed amendments to the Russian Constitution on Senate Square in Petersburg.
February 9, 2020. A solo picket in Penza before the verdict in the Network Case was announced.
February 10, 2020. Defendants in the Network Case after the verdict was announced in the Penza Regional Court.
February 14, 2020. Pickets near Gostiny Dvor in Petersburg protesting the verdict in the Network Case. The placard reads, “FSB + torture = Network Case. Free [the defendants]!”
February 15, 2020. Police detain people picketing against proposed amendments to the Russian Constitution on Ligovsky Prospekt in Petersburg. The placard reads, “The Russian coronavirus is more dangerous than the Chinese one.”
March 9, 2020. Feminists rally at Sokolniki in Moscow. The placard held by the young woman in grey hat and coat reads, “If a women becomes less ‘pure’ after he has touched her, maybe the problem is his hands?”
March 15, 2020. Police detain people protesting proposed amendments to the Russian Constitution on Senate Square in Petersburg.
March 31, 2020. A religious procession on Petersburg’s Palace Square, empty due to the coronavirus quarantine.
April 2, 2020. The art group Yav calls on a superhero to help during the coronavirus quarantine.
April 18, 2020. Easter is celebrated at the Church of the Savior of the Holy Image in Vsevolozhsk (outside Petersburg) despite the ban imposed on such gatherings due to the coronavirus quarantine.
April 23, 2020. A doctor stretches while waiting in queue of ambulances, presumably filled with covid-19 patients, at the Pokrovskaya Hospital in Petersburg.
May 8, 2020. A burial at the coronavirus section of the New Kolpino Cemetery near Petersburg.
May 29, 2020. Police detain an activist who chained himself near Gostiny Dvor in Petersburg during pickets in support of Ilya Azar, a Moscow journalist arrested and sentenced to 15 days in jails for picketing.
June 21, 2020. The Party of the Dead protests proposed amendments to the Russian Constitution. The placard reads, “To the Constitution without clinking glasses!” When toasting the dead, Russians do not clink glasses.
June 22, 2020. Viktor Filinkov before the reading of verdict in the Network Case at the Western Military District Court in Petersburg.
June 22, 2020. Police detain the wife of one of the defendants after the reading of the verdict in the Network Case outside the Western Military District Court in Petersburg.
July 17, 2020. A scene from the protest action Vulva Ballet, near the Mariinsky Theater in Petersburg, in support of the artist Yulia Tsvetkova
August 1, 2020. Holding a copy a Russian flag in her left hand and a copy of the constitution in her right, an activist handcuffs herself to a railing on Malaya Sadovaya Street in downtown Petersburg during protests against amendments to the Russian Constitution.
August 8, 2020. Police detain a young woman during a rally in support of protesters in Khabarovsk near Gostiny Dvor in Petersburg.
August 9, 2020. Belarusian nationals queue up to vote in their country’s presidential elections outside the Belarusian embassy’s office in Petersburg.
August 9, 2020. A protest in support of the Khachaturian sisters on Nevsky Prospekt in Petersburg.
August 21, 2020. Petersburgers gather outside Gostiny Dvor in support of the poisoned Alexei Navalny. The inscriptions on the man’s arms read, “You can’t poison everyone!” and “Live, Navalny!”
August 22, 2020. Petersburgers gather outside Gostiny Dvor in support of protesters in Khabarovsk and Belarus. The placard between the legs of the young people reads, “Lie-down strike.”
August 26, 2020. Rally in support of protesters in Belarus on Nevsky Prospekt in Petersburg. The inscription on the banner reads “Long live Belarus!” in Belarusian.
September 25, 2020. Irina Maslova, creator of a memorial wall for doctors in Petersburg who have died of covid-19.
October 3, 2020. A memorial for journalist Irina Slavina outside Gostiny Dvor in Petersburg. The poster held by artist Yelena Osipova reads, “Journalism is a dangerous profession. You were silent. Irina Slavina. Innocent victims of the 21st century. You were silent.”
October 7, 2020. Activists from the Vesna Movement “celebrate” Putin’s birthday outside the house where he grew up. The action, in which the activists ate cake, drank tea, and “died,” was meant to protest Putin’s poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
October 7, 2020. A female activist wearing a Putin mask is detained outside of Gostiny Dvor in Petersburg during pickets protesting Putin’s birthday.
October 30, 2020. A rabbi lays stones in memory of victims of Stalin’s Great Terror at Levashovo Memorial Cemetery near Petersburg.
October 30, 2020. A protest action in memory of the LGBT victims of Stalin’s Great Terror on the Voskresenskaya Embankment in Petersburg.
October 30, 2020. One of a series of pickets in memory of the victims of the Stalin’s crackdown on Gorokhovaya Street in downtown Petersburg. The placard reads, “Alfred Azret-Ali Sagaduevich Yebzeyev. Arrested February 1950. Released February 1955.”
November 21, 2020. Activists from the Vesna Movement protest an increase in ticket prices on the Petersburg subway.
December 6, 2020. Road signs on Bucharest Street in Petersburg protesting domestic violence. The signs on the far left read, “Stop the violence” and “It’s called femicide.”
December 22, 2020. Petersburgers picket outside Gostiny Dvor after a journalistic investigation revealed that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny had been been poisoned by officers of the FSB, the Russian Federal Security Service. The young woman’s placard reads, “The FSB are cowards/underwear,” a play on the word trusy (which means both “cowards” and “underwear”) and an allusion to Navalny’s phone conversation with one of the agents involved, who claimed that he had poisoned Navalny’s underwear with the deadly nerve agent Novichok.
December 26, 2020. A protester on Ligovsky Prospekt in Petersburg suggests that people can get their underwear washed at the local FSB headquarters at Liteiny Prospekt, 4. This is another allusion to Navalny’s conversation with one of his alleged FSB poisoners, who claimed he washed Navalny’s briefs twice to remove all traces of the Novichok nerve agent he had applied to them.
All photos reprinted here with the kind permission of David Frenkel. Translations and additional commentary by the Russian Reader