Twenty-five-year-old Mikhail Yakovlev initially filed for a permit to organize the Zombie Walk. He called off the event after his permit was withdrawn amid rumors that the Russian Orthodox Church was behind the ban, as Global Voices reported earlier this week.
Although Yakovlev did show up at an unsanctioned flash mob gathering of 300 Zombie enthusiasts in Omsk, he did not wear a costume and only photographed the event. That was before he was arrested by police.
Yakovlev, who was also behind several demonstrations against the disputed December 2011 parliamentary elections in Russia, has likened the ban on the Zombie Walk to the persecution of the feminist punk performance-art group Pussy Riot in Moscow.
The Zombie Walk was scheduled to take place two days after the Pussy Riot verdict was delivered on August 17. The verdict drew international condemnation after the three members of the feminist punk group were sentenced to two years in prison.
Although Yakovlev has stressed that his Zombie Walk initiative was part of a wider campaign to organize creative events and celebrations aimed at Russia’s youth, the Russian news portal newsru.com reported on August 22 that the flash mob was organized specifically in support of Pussy Riot.
-- Deana Kjuka