Consular assistance in Russia

Russia is currently at war in Ukraine. Are you in Russia and need consular assistance? Find your country’s embassy in Russia on EmbassyPages.

Home News Russia activist jailed for 15 days over crucifixion stunt

Russia activist jailed for 15 days over crucifixion stunt

Published on 06/11/2020

A Russian court on Friday jailed a political activist for 15 days for reenacting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ near the headquarters of the security service in central Moscow.

On Thursday night fellow activists attached a half-naked Pavel Krisevich to a cross and put him on a stool in front of the headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB), successor to the Soviet-era KGB.

They lit a fire on the pavement in front of him and threw in the blaze what they said were criminal case materials in a performance symbolising pressure on political activists, according to a video of the performance uploaded online.

Krisevich was detained and Moscow’s Tverskoi district court on Friday jailed him for 15 days for resisting police, a court spokeswoman, Olga Bondareva, told AFP.

The FSB building, which takes up an entire block, was used by the Soviet-era secret police for interrogations, detaining opponents and extra-judicial killings.

In 2015, controversial performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky set fire to the wooden doors of the FSB building.

Pavlensky had faced three years in jail on charges of damaging a cultural site but was released in June 2016 with a hefty fine.

Russian artists who carry out political stunts usually face up to 15 days in police cells for petty hooliganism. Depending on how their actions are interpreted they can face much stiffer sentences.

In 2012, two members of Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for hooliganism after their performance in a cathedral protesting against the close ties between the Russian Orthodox church and Russian President Vladimir Putin.