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​​Russia Issues Arrest Warrant for Anti-War Street Artist Philippenzo

Filipp Kozlov, also known as Philippenzo. philippenzo / Instagram

Russian authorities have placed a street artist famous for his anti-war graffiti on a federal wanted list in relation to an unspecified crime.

Filipp Kozlov, who goes by the artist name Philippenzo, is listed in the Russian Interior Ministry’s database of suspected criminals. The registry does not disclose the charges that the 39-year-old Kozlov faces.

In September, police detained Kozlov for “politically motivated vandalism,” a criminal charge that carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

The independent media outlet Sota reported that Kozlov failed to show up for a police interrogation days later. His relatives said they believed he had fled Russia without his passport.

Kozlov then told Sota on Oct. 13 that he has since settled in Lithuania to avoid criminal prosecution.

Kozlov’s graffiti works include “Izrossilovaniye” — a portmanteau of the Russian words for “rape” and “Russia” — which was unveiled in Moscow on a public holiday known as Russia Day on June 12.

The work references Russia’s crackdown on dissent after its forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in early 2022. City workers painted over the graffiti shortly after its appearance.

This summer, Kozlov served two consecutive 15-day terms in prison jailed on misdemeanor charges of disobeying police orders. 

Kozlov was fined once last year for “discrediting” the Russian military and twice for his anti-war graffiti, according to the independent news outlet Activatica.

The outlet reported that authorities had seized Kozlov’s passport at the time to keep him from leaving the country.

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