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Barbed-Wire Police Protest Lands Russian Performance Artist in Jail

Pavel Krisevich was detained for locking himself in a barbed-wire ball to protest the police state. Screenshot YouTube / Georgy Markov

A Russian performance artist has been jailed a second time for attempting to stage a barbed-wire stunt in protest of police overreach in central Moscow last month, the OVD-Info police-monitoring website reported Monday.

Authorities detained Pavel Krisevich on Sunday immediately after he finished serving a two-week administrative arrest on charges of disobeying police orders with the stunt on Old Arbat Street, a popular pedestrian zone. 

Footage of Krisevich’s Jan. 24 detention shows him screaming “down with the police state” as a plainclothes person attempts to drag him out of the barbed-wire ball he had locked himself in. Eyewitness journalists reported that one officer pinned their knee on Krisevich’s neck while another tried to suffocate another correspondent with a piece of the barbed wire.

The stunt, dubbed “The Realm of the Russian Person’s Soul,” came a day after thousands of Russians nationwide were detained in the first wave of mass protests in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Moscow’s Presnensky District Court, the same body that jailed him last month, on Monday found Krisevich guilty of repeatedly violating protest rules and handed him 25 days of administrative arrest.

Krisevich’s stunt follows another high-profile performance in November that saw him stage a half-naked crucifixion with burning liquid outside the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters.

A Moscow court had convicted him of disobeying police orders and jailed him for 15 days at the time. The elite People’s Friendship University of Russia voted to expel Krisevich over the “embarrassing” November stunt.

In August, Krisevich “hanged” himself off a bridge in St. Petersburg in support of Russian and Belarusian political prisoners.

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