Column 2 News

Russian Political Artist Seeks Asylum In France

Known for his political actions, Russian artist Petr Pavlensky declared that he’s leaving Russia and is going to ask for political asylum in France. He decided to leave his native homeland as he fears retribution from the security services.


Pavlensky told the Ukrainian TV channel “Gromadska” that on December 14, when he and his companion Oksana Shalygina returned from Warsaw to Moscow, he was taken to the Investigation Committee of Russia (TFR).


“At the Sheremetyevo airport we were met by the police and we were taken to the Investigation Committee, where they began to present evidence of guilt from his controversial work – violent acts of a sexual nature,” recalls Pavlensky.

After questioning the artist did not linger. He, along with Shalygina, was able to leave the country for France.


“In fact, we were warned that we should not go back to Russia five days before, when we were in Warsaw. The girl who filed the complaint warned us through a friend,” added Pavlensky.


Pavlensky confirmed to the Russian TV channel “Rain,” that he, Shalygina, and children were going to ask for political asylum in France.


Pavlensky, shortly after questioning left Russia through Belarus by car. According to the latest information, he was able to enter Ukraine, from where he departed for France.



Pavlensky is known for his artistic resonance on politics. In November 2013, he undressed at Red Square in Moscow, calling it “a metaphor of apathy” and “political indifference” of Russian society. In February 2014, he participated in the campaign “Freedom” in St. Petersburg, where with tires the demonstrators built a barricade, and then set it on fire.



In November 2015 Pavlensky set fire to the door of the main building at the FSB Lubyanka. He was arrested and sent to detention. In June 2015, a Moscow court found the artist guilty of damage to cultural heritage and sentenced him to a fine of $ 8 000.


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