Russian artist arrested after torching doors of intelligence agency headquarters | News | DW | 09.11.2015
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Russian artist arrested after torching doors of intelligence agency headquarters

Russian artist and activist Pyotr Pavlensky has been arrested after setting fire to a door of the headquarters of Russia's domestic intelligence service in Moscow. He accused the FSB of "unending terror."

Pyotr Pavlensky, known for a number of odd and ostentatious acts of protest against the Russian government, was arrested early Monday morning after he set fire to a door at the Moscow headquarters of the FSB, the successor to the KGB.

He posted a video online of him standing in front of the flames before a police officer runs up to arrest him.

"The FSB acts using a method of unending terror and holds onto power over 146 million people," the artist said in a message with the video.

His lawyer Olga Pavlenskova Chavdar said it is unclear what charges the artist would face, but she believes authorities will charge him with arson.

Two journalists reporting on the scene were also taken into custody but later released.

In 2013, Pavlensky nailed his scrotum to the cobblestone in Red Square on Russian Police Day to protest police control. A year earlier he sewed his mouth shut to protest the arrest of members of the punk rock group Pussy right.

In another protest he cut off his ear lobe while naked and wrapped himself in barbed wire in front of the St. Petersburg Assembly.

Pavlensky faces up to three years in prison on vandalism charges after he and other activists set fire to tires and waved Ukrainian flags in St. Petersburg last year to mimic the Maiden protests in Kiev that ousted the pro-Moscow leader of Ukraine.

cw/jil (AFP, Interfax)

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