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Russian Prosecutor Calls For Fine, But No Jail, For Protest Artist Pavlensky

A Russian prosecutor on June 6 asked a judge to punish the radical performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky with a large fine rather than sending him to prison for torching the door of Russia’s security service headquarters.

Pavlensky doused a massive wooden door of the FSB security service's Moscow headquarters with gasoline and set it on fire in a November performance he called Threat.

He has been charged with damaging a cultural site and, if convicted, could face a maximum jail sentence of three years.

Prosecutor Anton Sizov on June 6 asked the judge to fine Pavlensky 2 million rubles ($30,400) rather than jailing him.

An FSB official told the court Pavlensky also should pay 481,461 rubles ($7,380) in damages for the cost of the door.

Judge Yelena Gudoshnikova is expected to announce her verdict on June 8.

Pavlensky is known for intense performances that protest against Russia’s restrictions on political freedom.

He has previously nailed his scrotum to Red Square, sewn his lips together, wrapped himself in barbed wire, and chopped off part of his ear.

Based on reporting by AFP and The Guardian