Andrey Borovikov, a close ally of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been sentenced to a long prison time for distributing pornography. A show of force of the Russian government to intimidate the growing resistance to Putin’s leadership. The pornography in question was just a link to a Rammstein music video showing explicit scenes.
A Russian dissident has been sentenced in a Russian court to two-and-a-half years in a high-security penal colony. Officially his offense was »distributing pornography« but in reality, everybody knows that his real »crime« seems to be that he is a Putin critic.
The former coordinator for Alexei Navalny’s political campaigns has been jailed for sharing a link to a video created by the German industrial metal band Rammstein. There are steep punishments for distributing pornography in Russia but the handling of the law is quite arbitrary as there are exceptions for content that has so-called »cultural value«. What constitutes cultural values is entirely up to individual decisions by state prosecutors.
Allegedly, Borovikov posted the music video for the Rammstein song »Pussy« on the Russian social media platform VKontakte in 2014. There is one version of the music video that contains sex scenes, and another that shows scantily clad women. For now, it is not clear which version Borovikov posted, and as it all seems to be a farce it probably doesn’t matter.
The video is a typical Rammstein music video. It tries to provoke but its message is far from pornographic. Even Germany’s biggest tabloid says: »[The song] deals with sex tourism clichés – and is full of irony. But the Russian authorities are not known to take a joke.«
Borovikov is 32 years old and would have to spend over 2 years in a harsh labor camp designed to punish Putin critics. The former political operator has announced to appeal against his verdict.
The human rights organization Amnesty International had described the trial against Borovikov on Wednesday as »completely absurd«. It was obvious “that he is being punished only for his activism, not for his taste in music.«
Here is Rammstein’s official Youtube channel.