Performers at show in honor of Yaroslavl patriotic club’s 20th anniversary smash stage prop with the inscription “Death to faggots” using sledgehammer Mediazona
August 31, 2021
During a performance by the military patriotic club Paratrooper in Yaroslavl, the regional news website 76.ru has reported, the performers used a sledgehammer to smash a stage-prop brick inscribed with the phrase “Death to faggots.”
According to the website, a performance in honor of the club’s 20th anniversary was held at the Dobrynin Palace of Culture in Yaroslavl on August 29. The performers took their comrade, placed a prop shaped like a white brick, inscribed with the phrase “Death to faggots,” on him and smashed it with a sledgehammer.
Andrei Palachev, the head of Paratrooper, explained to 76.ru that the club members had been joking.
“The kids just decided to make a joke and drew this inscription at the last moment. Faggots have no business being in Russia at all. […] And why should [the performers] be punished? They just don’t like fudge packers, and I don’t like them either. The family should be traditional: a boy and a girl, and not all this faggotry,” Palachev said.
Igor Derbin, the palace of culture’s director, stressed that this part of the performance had not been vetted with him.
“We are outraged. Initially, the event was supposed to be pleasant and joyful. We weren’t expecting their stunt. It was not planned in advance or agreed upon, because they knew that we would not allow it. By doing what they did, they canceled all the good impressions made by the event,” he added.
Taras Sidorin, the head of the Yaroslavl branch of the veterans organization Defender, said that he had filed a complaint with the police about the incident. “We consider such outburst incitement to murder. […] There were small children in the audience. This behavior is simply unacceptable,” he said.
Gennady Shpalikov was a brilliant Soviet screenwriter, poet, and lyricist, and, in his only attempt at directing, A Long Happy Life (1966), an equally brilliant filmmaker.
If you’ve ever seen the film, you probably wondered at some point how such a bleak, beautiful, and utterly hopeless masterpiece could have been made in the post-Krushchevian Soviet Union.
I don’t remember how that miracle happened, but after this and until his death by suicide in 1974 at the ripe old age of 37, Shpalikov was a man without a country and certainly a man without almost any prospects of getting decent, honest work in a country whose leadership had decided to do a little re-Stalinization after a very brief period of mostly cultural liberalization. (Hence the glorious Soviet cinematic new wave of the Krushchev period, in which Shpalikov played a key role.)
But now, even as it persecutes Kirill Serebrennikov for some of the same “faults” that Sphalikov had, the regime tries to redeem itself by resurrecting the suicided Shpalikov for an evening and rehabilitating itself in its own eyes.
I don’t doubt for a second that the utterly loyalist filmmaker Sergei Solovyov regards Sphalikov as his friend, but everything I’ve read about Shpalikov suggests he was such a charming fellow everyone liked him anyway. That is, until he was made a creative outcast by his own country’s always righteous political regime, couldn’t get work, and started hitting the bottle.
Basically, this is like an evening of films by John Cassavetes as introduced by Ron Howard.
I also don’t know what any of this has to do with Sergei Dovlatov, another talented and “troubled” fellow the great Soviet Union ejected from its sacred midst because it had no place for him, essentially, but who has also been subjected, in recent years, to one of the most extensive and absurd cooptation-cum-rehabilitation campaigns you can imagine, as if he hadn’t left the Soviet Union in 1979, or hadn’t had any good reason for leaving.
None of these frantic attempts on the part of the regime and its running dogs to save themselves in the eyes of the nonexistent intelligentsia should prevent you from watching every film Sphalikov had anything to do with (they’re all worth watching, and some are masterpieces), and reading everything Dovlatov wrote (most of it is hilarious and poignant) in the comfort of your own home.
No one needs to attend pro-Putin rallies disguised as cultural events. What else could the slogan “1967: The Second Thaw” refer to?
There was no second thaw. Only a “long happy life” that ended in 1991. ||| TRR, August 30, 2017
Gennady Shpalikov (director), A Long Happy Life (1966)
Suddenly, I realized that five years ago, when I started doing this, the charges of espionage and terrorist propaganda [made against many victims of the Great Terror] seemed to be the distant past, a clear marker of Stalin’s hysterical spy mania. It seemed, well, unreal, hard to believe. What must have it been like to live in such darkness, huh?
The years have gone by, but, people have asked, does it still seem unreal?
This is Natalia Totskaya, a graduate of an Institute for Noble Maidens. She was a teacher of foreign languages and translator. She corresponded with her sister, who had emigrated.
A plaque bearing her name and four dates — of her birth, arrest, execution and exoneration — will be installed and dedicated tomorrow, Sunday, 3:00 p.m, at 1/2 Solyanka Street, bldg. 1 [in Moscow].
Please come and join us!
Thanks to Marina Bobrik for the link. Translated by the Russian Reader
I understand that the male members of the Council and our head, most likely, will not be interested in this event, so I appeal to the women who are members of the Council with a request to defend those who have been punished.
The female picketers are the only ones in our huge country who have shown solidarity with the real victims and those who will inevitably become victims.
The women involved in the picket in Moscow defended humanitarian values and were punished in Russia for doing this.
They have also been punished because the Presidential Human Rights Council did not protect them and their right to defend humanitarian solidarity.
I appeal to the female members of the Council to bring attention to what has happened and publicly protest the court’s decision.
Alexander Nikolaevich Sokurov
Thanks to Nikolai Boyarshinov and Elena Vilenskaya for the heads-up. Translated by the Russian Reader
I have just gathered my thoughts and reflected on what has happened to us. I have written a letter to our viewers that I have also posted below.
[ _________ ]
I am Natasha Sindeeva, general director of TV Rain. And I’m not a foreign agent.
I am a patriot. I live in Russia, I love my country, I’m not going to leave and I’ve never had plans to leave.
Nor is Rain a foreign agent. Rain is almost 200 people who, just like me, love their country, cheer for it and want Russia to become better — more humane, safer, fairer, more honest, richer, freer. All we want is to be happy, live in peace and be proud of our country. And I’m sure the approximately 20 million people who watch and read us on different platforms every month want the same thing as we do.
A lot has happened to Rain over eleven years. We were disconnected from cable networks. Attempts were made to kill our business. We broadcast from an apartment, not knowing what would happen next. But we always continued to engage in honest journalism and tell the truth to our viewers. And we will continue to do it, even if someone doesn’t like it.
Of course, you can joke as much as you like about the status of foreign agent and call it a “seal of excellence.” But, in fact, all this is terrible. It is quite awful when the state divides people into “friends” and “strangers.”
A foreign agent, in fact, is a person or organization that acts in the interests of another country. We don’t have another country. We live, work and earn enough to keep our business going only in Russia. We act in the interests of our fellow Russian citizens who, according to the Constitution, have freedom of speech.
Here’s what I think is important.
The law on foreign agents is not only a dirty trick that stigmatizes dissidents and free people, and sicks our country’s citizens on each other, it is also a completely absurd law. Because any media outlet whatsoever can become a foreign agent today. For this to happen to you, you need to meet only two criteria: quoting other “foreign agents”, such as Meduza, Radio Liberty or Lev Ponomarev, and receiving money from abroad.
Even before the law on foreign agents was passed, like all media outlets we reported any foreign financing we received to Roskomnadzor [the Russian media regulator]. Today we went to the Roskomnadzor website to see who else besides us was in this report. And lo and behold! In addition to Rain, the report lists several dozen different media outlets, from knitting magazines to state-owned Russian companies such as RT, TASS and others.
Each of these media outlets, if it quotes a “foreign agent” at least once, can also be labeled a “foreign agent media outlet.” Think about it. And moreover, they do quote “foreign agents,” but they have not been labeled “foreign agents” themselves.
Is this stupid? Of course it’s stupid. Does it surprise me that Rain was labeled a foreign agent? No, it doesn’t surprise me. But it does not cow me either.
We will defend the interests of Rain and other media outlets labeled foreign agents, and the interests of Russians. We will defend the right of our viewers to get information about what is really happening around them.
In an ideal world, I would dream of operating without ads that distract from our main content, without any funding other than the money paid by our subscribers.
Someday, I hope, that perfect time will come. But we are alive today, and we don’t live in an ideal world. In the current circumstances, the departure of any advertiser will be painful for us.
It is very expensive to make programs and run a TV channel . We have no curators, we have no state support, we aren’t owned by oligarchs or anyone else. We are a Russian independent media outlet, which the state once again wants to destroy simply because we are independent.
And we are also honest. First of all, to our viewers. We have never made compromises, even when physically threatened. We have never censored our work, either due to external pressure or out of our own fears. And we aren’t ashamed to look ourselves and you in the eye.
Thank you for your support and your faith in us. We will do everything in our power.
Rain is not a foreign agent, Rain is an agent of Russian citizens.
SocFem Alternative activists outside the courthouse after the hearing at which two of their activists were fined 200,000 rubles each for support Afghan women. Courtesy of their Telegram channel and Novaya Gazeta
Moscow court fines two activists 200 thousand rubles for who picketing in support of Afghan women Novaya Gazeta
August 25, 2021
Moscow’s Presna District Court imposed a fine of 200 thousand rubles [approx. 2,300 euros] each on SocFem Alternative activists Ksenia Bezdenezhnykh and Anna Pavlova, who on Monday held solo pickets outside the Embassy of Afghanistan in Moscow, as reported by members of the movement.
Five protesters were detained on August 23. Bezdenezhnykh and Pavlova were charged with violating Article 20.2.8 of the Administrative Offenses Code (repeated violation of the rules for public protests). Daria Kozhanova, Ilya Lukhovitsky and Sofia Miloradova were charged with violating Article 20.2.5 of the Administrative Offenses Code (involvement in an unauthorized protest) and released from the police station.
В пикет в поддержку женщин Афганистана вышла экс-кандидатка в депутаты Госдумы и активистка движения СоцФемАльт Ксения Безденежных. Спустя пару минут ее задержали.
Footage of SocFem Alternative activist Ksenia Bezdenezhnykh’s arrest by Moscow police outside the Afghan embassy on August 23, 2021
The protesters voiced their solidarity with Afghan women, whose rights are limited by the Taliban terrorist movement, which is banned in the Russian Federation.
A similar protest was held in Petersburg, but no one was detained.
Earlier, on August 25, the Taliban banned women in Afghanistan from leaving their homes to go work until “the system of ensuring their security is organized.” After announcing that they had established full control over Afghanistan, representatives of the movement said that they would allow women to lead an active lifestyle, but in compliance with sharia law.
For example, women are already forbidden from going out in public without the escort of a male relative and without covering their head, hair and entire body. In addition, women are not allowed to perform certain jobs, including working in the media.
Telegram banned Roman Anin’s account the day before journalist was labeled “foreign agent media outlet”
Maria Efimova Novaya Gazeta
August 20, 2021
Telegram has banned the account of Roman Anin,* editor-in-chief of iStories [in Russian, Vazhnye istorii — “Important Stories”].* He reported the incident to Novaya Gazeta himself.
“I couldn’t log in to Telegram yesterday, because my account was deleted, and it says in English that my account is banned. I haven’t been able to restore it yet,” Anin said.
Anin doesn’t know why his account was deleted. Although he has contacted the messenger service’s support team, they have not replied.
Today, the Russian Justice Ministry placed iStories, Anin and several of the publication’s journalists on its register of “foreign agent media outlets.” TV Rain* and the journalist Stepan Petrov* were also added to the list.
Earlier this week, iStories journalists Irina Dolinina* and Alesya Marokhovskaya* reported that persons unknown had mounted a spam attack on their phone numbers. “SMS messages from shops, banks and other places with different codes [were] being sent non-stop,” Dolinina said, also complaining about the incessant “dead calls.” Before that, persons unknown tried to hack and organize a spam attack on the phone of Irina Pankratova, a journalist with The Bell.
“On the evening of April 9, 2021, the FSB searched the home of iStories editor-in-chief Roman Anin. The search lasted almost seven hours. At the same time, a search was also carried out in the publication’s editorial offices.”
The success of Putin’s Russia has been determined by a correct-minded approach to solving problems of the development of Russia. Putin’s domestic, socio-economic and international policy ensured great support for him from the majority of Russian citizens. He was supported by the nation not only as a politician, but first of all as a national statesman, responsible for the country and its development.
—Ivan S. Kuznetsov, Elena V. Katyshevtseva (Nikulina), and James Douglas Stuber, Modern Russian History: A Textbook, trans. Liudmila I. Katyshevtseva (Gwangju: Chonnam National University Press, 2012), p. 188
Since the beginning of the year, the number of political prisoners in Russia has increased from 349 to 410. According to the Memorial Human Rights Center (included in the register of foreign agents), the vast majority of them were deprived of their liberty due to their religious affiliation. The list also includes people who were deprived of their liberty after participating in protests in support of Alexey Navalny in January of this year.
—Alina Pinchuk, “‘The growing repressiveness of the regime’: there are more political prisoners,” Radio Svoboda, August 17, 2021
Photo and translation of second quotation by the Russian Reader
Russia records highest covid-19 mortality rate for third day in a row Radio Svoboda
August 14, 2021
For the third day in a row, Russia has recorded the highest number of deaths from the novel coronavirus infection since the beginning of the pandemic. On Saturday, August 14, the authorities reported 819 deaths, according to the federal crisis management center.
A year ago, the Russian authorities declared victory over the pandemic, but due to the low level of vaccination and the spread of new strains, the number of reported infections has increased four times, and the death toll has increased six times compared to the previous summer.
On August 14, 22,144 new cases of infection by the novel coronavirus were recorded in Russia. 19,550 people recovered. The official death toll for the entire pandemic has reached almost 170,000.
Using data from Rosstat, the Russian federal statistics agency, independent demographers and statistical researchers have estimated that the real number of deaths from the pandemic is three and a half times higher, in excess of 600,000.