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Russia Puts Artist Pavlensky In Detention


A Russian court has ordered performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky to be jailed pending trial after he set the doors of the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters on fire in a political protest.

A Moscow district court said Pavlensky should remain in pretrial detention until December 8 on vandalism charges.

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, 31, could face three years in prison on vandalism charges.

He argued in court that he wanted to be tried for terrorism because the FSB holds "146 million people (the population of Russia) in fear."

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 likened his action to the case of Ukrainian film director Oleh Sentsov, who was jailed in August for 20 years on terrorism charges that he and international rights groups have called politically motivated.

Ex-Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova attended Pavlensky's court session.

Based on reporting by AFP, TASS, and Interfax
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