Russia: seven years’ prison for anti-war tags
In St. Petersburg, artist and pacifist Aleksandra "Sasha" Skochilenko has been sentenced to seven years in prison for "knowingly spreading false information about the Russian military" and its deployment in Ukraine. She has already been in custody for one and a half years. Her "offence" consisted of replacing five price tags in a supermarket with pieces of paper bearing anti-war messages.
The face of resistance within Russia
The regime fears nothing more than the truth, writes exiled opposition activist Dmitry Gudkov in a Telegram post republished by Echo:
“Sasha has become the face of the Russian resistance. She is the answer to the accusation of collective responsibility [of all Russians for the war]. ... Incidentally, Gladyshev, that scoundrel of a prosecutor, admitted that Sasha had written the truth on her price tags. And he said that she was guilty not of spreading fake information but of sowing panic by referencing the number of corpses Putin would provide Russia with for decades to come. What these scoundrels fear and what they’re fighting against is the truth.”
Creative protest means loss of control
In a Facebook post, political scientist Abbas Gallyamov explains why the state is reacting so harshly to this small act of protest:
“Anti-war slogans on price tags seem insignificant only at first glance. In reality, this is a very creative solution with which Sasha was able to bring politics into a fundamentally new and previously inaccessible environment — that of everyday consumption. Although she only did this in a single store, the idea seemed so dangerous to the authorities that they decided to nip it in the bud. ... What the authorities fear most is creativity and politicisation. The average citizen goes to buy milk — and finds politics in the shop. And it’s unregulated by the authorities. That’s the kind of thing that leads up to revolutions.”