ST. PETERSBURG -- A court in St. Petersburg has jailed or fined eight people who were found guilty of boarding the naval ship "Aurora" and hoisting a flag with the skull and crossbones, traditionally a symbol of pirates, on the mast of the vessel.
The court ordered one of the eight people jailed for 10 days, three others jailed for five days and fined the other four 1,000 rubles for their antics.
According to RFE/RL's Russian Service, the incident happened on October 16 in St. Petersburg when the eight boarded the vessel as part of a tourist group but then separated from the tourists and symbolically "captured" the legendary "Aurora" gunship.
It was a cannon shot fired from the "Aurora" that served as the signal to Russian Communist Party members led by Vladimir Lenin to storm the Winter Palace, the first move in the 1917 October Revolution that brought Lenin's Bolsheviks to power. The vessel has been converted into a museum of the Great October Revolution.
The five members of the opposition group Narodnaya Dolya (The People's Share), one of them a woman, entered the "Aurora" warship museum disguised as tourists. Three of them managed to climb a mast and fly the Jolly Roger flag and a large placard calling for measures to fight poverty.
Museum security personnel tried but failed to stop them by deploying water cannons.
WATCH -- A YouTube video shows the protest and the treatment of activists who took part:
An RFE/RL correspondent at the scene reported that the activists wanted to fly a second flag from another mast, but police and firefighters prevented them.
St. Petersburg human rights activist Mikhail Druzhininsky, who coordinates and monitors protests, told RFE/RL it is difficult to ascertain where the young activists are being held and what charges have been brought against them.
The activists posted a statement on the Internet announcing their plan -- codenamed Memorable October or Sunday of Aurora -- to seize the "Aurora."
They further appealed to Russians to join what they termed the nucleus of a new popular revolt.
Read more in Russian here