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6 Nov, 2020 15:05

Scorching savior: Russian activist faces a month in jail after fiery crucifixion stunt outside Moscow’s FSB headquarters

Scorching savior: Russian activist faces a month in jail after fiery crucifixion stunt outside Moscow’s FSB headquarters

A half-naked protester has been arrested after setting off smoke devices and tying himself to a cross as part of a dramatic stunt outside the Moscow headquarters of the Russian state security service (FSB) on Thursday night.

Pavel Krisevich imitated the crucifixion of Christ, surrounded by a scattered pile of files marked ‘FSB’, on Lubyanka Square in the Russian capital.

Authorities quickly broke up the scene and Krisevich has now been charged with organizing an unauthorized public event, which carries a potential sentence of up to thirty days behind bars.

Although he was initially taken to a local police station, the activist was later transferred to hospital after reportedly being injured during the arrest. He and fellow activists had doused the crucifix with a flammable substance that burns at low temperatures to create flames and smoke. The action was intended to highlight supposed abuses of power by the FSB.

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Krisevich has been in the news in recent months for a series of other outlandish protests. In August, he was fined 10,000 rubles (around $120) following a performance outside Moscow’s Lyublinsky Court during which, dressed as a police officer, he slashed the throat of a mannequin in front of a crowd of journalists and onlookers.

At the time, the court had been considering the case of three activists accused of plotting to overthrow the government. The trio were handed prison sentences of between six and seven years each, to be served in a penal colony.

Again in August, Krisevich courted controversy when he staged a mock hanging from a St. Petersburg bridge. The macabre spectacle, supposedly a show of solidarity with ‘political prisoners’ in Russia and Belarus, was filmed by passengers on riverboats below.

Moscow’s Lubyanka Square has seen a number of protests in recent years. In 2015, Russian activist and ‘performance artist’ Pyotr Pavlensky poured flammable liquid over the main door to the FSB building and set it alight. He was handed a fine, having previously been arrested in 2013 after nailing his scrotum to the ground of Moscow’s Red Square in another protest against the government.

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