Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Siberian Shaman Vows to Resume ‘Putin Exorcism’ Trek Following Extremism Arrest

Alexander Gabyshev Youtube

A Siberian shaman has vowed to re-start his journey across Russia by foot to exorcise President Vladimir Putin after his arrest on extremism charges last month.

Gabyshev was detained on Sept. 19 — then flown back to his home city and released — in Far East Russia six months into his 8,000-kilometer journey to Moscow to cast out Putin, whom he called a demon. Gabyshev's lawyer says the shaman, who faces criminal charges in his home city of Yakutsk of calling for extremism, was declared “insane” by psychiatric evaluators. 

“Leave, Vladimir Vladimirovich [Putin], voluntarily. It will be good for Russia, for Yakutia, for the whole world,” Gabyshev said, addressing the president by video.

“No one will touch you. Not a hair will fall from you, not a drop of blood will be spilled... I will personally protect you,” Gabyshev promised in an interview with the Yakutia.info news website.

Gabyshev embarked on his odyssey from his native republic of Sakha to Moscow in March, predicting he'd reach the Russian capital in the summer of 2021. The Amnesty International NGO has declared Gabyshev a prisoner of conscience.

Gabyshev told The New York Times this week that his exorcism involves lighting a bonfire near the Kremlin wall on Red Square and feeding it horsehair and fermented mare’s milk. The ritual includes banging a leather drum and performing a prayer, after which Gabyshev said “Putin will come to his senses and quietly resign.” 

“In him there is much evil, and he himself embodies the powers of evil, so an exorcism must be done,” he had said.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more