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Criminal Case Opened Against Russian Performance Artist Pavlensky


Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky gestures inside a defendants' cage during a court hearing in Moscow in February.

Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky gestures inside a defendants' cage during a court hearing in Moscow in February.

Russian prosecutors have opened a criminal case against Russian performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky, accused of setting fire to the headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB) in a political protest.

The Russian Prosecutor-General's Office said on April 20 that the case had been sent to Moscow's Meshchansky court.

In a performance called Threat, Pavlensky poured gasoline on the doors of the FSB's headquarters at Moscow's Lubyanka Square early on November 9. He was arrested shortly after the fire started.

Pavlensky said it was an act of political protest.

Pavlensky, 32, could face up to three years in prison on vandalism charges.

Pavlensky has held a series of political protest performances that include nailing his scrotum to Red Square and cutting off part of his ear while standing atop a psychiatric clinic.

He explained his performances as a way to draw attention to the indifference shown by Russian society to widespread FSB control.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax
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