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  2. An activist from Arkhangelsk was sentenced to 2.5 years in a colony for posting Rammstein’s video on a social network

An activist from Arkhangelsk was sentenced to 2.5 years in a colony for posting Rammstein’s video on a social network

Ivan Zhuravkov
Andrei Borovikov
Photo from a personal archive

The Lomonosovsky District Court of Arkhangelsk sentenced local activist Andrei Borovikov to 2.5 years in a general regime penal colony. He was accused of distributing pornography because he posted “Pussy” music video by German band Rammstein on vk.com in 2014. He reported this on Instagram.

Journalists and associates of Andrei Borovikov were not allowed to attend the session on April 29 due to coronavirus restrictions. During the session, the state accuser considered the activist's guilt proven and asked to sentence him to three years in a high-security prison. The defense demanded a full acquittal of the activist.

Borovikov pleaded not guilty in his last plea. He said that the case against him was politically motivated. According to him, the administration of vk.com does not delete Rammstein’s music video, unlike the videos of murders and terrorist attacks, that is, it does not consider it something prohibited. He added that hundreds of people had reposted the music video, but a criminal case had been opened against him exactly. Borovikov suggested that law enforcement officers send a request over to Interpol in order to "expose the international porn syndicate".

"The law is the same for everyone, law enforcement agencies fight crime, protect civil rights. It is all nonsense. The Arkhangelsk prosecutor's office did everything to make an exhibition of oneself in public. This trial is being watched by people and by the leading media of both Russia and Germany on air. They do not understand how anyone can demand three years in prison for a music video. I am being persecuted for political reasons, because I am a supporter of Alexei Navalny. This is selective justice, which means that it is not justice at all," Borovikov said.


The police visited Andrei Borovikov for a house-check in September 2020. The investigator handed him a court order on the house-check in a case of the distribution of pornography on the Internet (paragraph "b" of Part 3 of Article 242 of the Criminal Code). The document stated that the case had been initiated in March 2020 because of a video with pornographic content allegedly posted in account "Andrei Borovikov" on vk.com.

The court began considering the case in December. The prosecuting witnesses did not appear at the first session. According to the activist, the main one is Alexander Durynin, a former employee of Navalny's Arkhangelsk headquarters enlisted by the security forces. Borovikov said that he had come to the headquarters with wiretaps, taken secret footage, and asked him about the posted video. Durynin was supposed to record video and audio confirmation that the activist had posted the music video himself in his account in 2014.

In February 2021, a judge demanded that two witnesses be forcibly brought to the session. At the same time, main witness Durynin said that he had reported Borovikov to the police after an argument. He explained that he had done this because he had felt that a public person could not post pornographic videos on his page.

After another court session in March, Borovikov announced a fundraiser to pay legal bills. He said that he owed his defender 10 thousand rubles for the two past sessions and would have to pay for the upcoming ones. As a result, the activist was donated more than 50 thousand rubles.

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