Performance Artist Pyotr Pavlensky Sets Fire to Moscow Headquarters of Russian Security Services

A still from a video of the action.

A still from a video of the action.


Pyotr Pavlensky, who was previously best known as the Russian performance artist who nailed his scrotum to the street in Red Square to protest the police, has found a way to outdo himself: as The Guardian reports, Pavlensky set fire to the entrance of the headquarters of the FSB security service (the modern-day incarnation of the KBG) in Moscow at 1 a.m. on Monday morning, according to his lawyer Olga Chavdar.

There is a video, titled The Burning Door of the Lubyanka (slang for the headquarters), which has been posted online. In it, a hooded Pavlensky stands before the flaming building, holding an incriminating petrol canister, until a policeman runs up to him. Pavlensky states in a message released along with the video, “The FSB acts using a method of unending terror and holds power over 146 million people.”

Chavdar has indicated that Pavlensky will be charged with arson, which carries a five-year sentence if convicted. She told The Guardian, “It’s hard to say what charge: anything can happen in our country.”

On Facebook, Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova wrote a supportive message praising “wonderful Pyotr and his performance.”

Below, a video of the aftermath of the fire.

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