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Artists’ Antitstate Antics Anger Authorities

RFE/RL today considers the question of why artists from the Voina collective seem to have received harsher treatment than their protesting associates in St Petersburg last week – three of them receiving charges, and one of them – Oleg Vorotnikov – beaten by police.  Vorotnikov was also beaten in a separate incident earlier last month, and his toddler son was involved on both occasions – evidence that the activities of the Voina art collective (such as its phallic drawbridge) are of particular irritation to the authorities.

“I went to the police station and got him released; I then called an ambulance and sent him to the hospital,” says [his lawyer]. “He suffered injuries to his lower and upper limbs, his shoulder, and his head.”

According to a statement released by Voina, Sokol [Vorotnikov’s wife] and Nikolayev were initially detained at the opposition rally, while Vorotnikov was left standing with his and Sokol’s 18-month-old son, Kasper.

When Vorotnikov asked police to free the boy’s mother, they beat him on the spot, dragged him to a bus, and took him into custody, where they beat him some more. Kasper was taken away from him and admitted to a hospital as an “unidentified child.” Vorotnikov was only able to pick him up after he was released from detention.


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