Russian activist Andrei Borovikov, who formerly worked as a coordinator for Aleksei Navalny, a Russian anti-corruption and opposition leader, has been sentenced to 2.5 years in prison after sharing a Rammstein music video.
Borovikov shared the video for the song ‘Pussy‘ which features on the 2009 album “Liebe ist für alle da” on Russian social media site VKontakte in 2014.
In September 2020, he was charged with ‘distribution of pornography’ by officials over six years later after the initial share. He pleaded not guilty.
The video depicts all six band members in suggestive pornographic scenes — which is not out of the ordinary for the German rockers.
The sentencing is believed to be politically motivated due to his connections with Navalny, who is also currently serving a 3.5 year prison sentence after criticising the Kremlin.
Amnesty International Moscow told Radio Free Europe: ‘The Russian authorities should be focusing on turning around the spiraling human rights crisis they have created, not devising ludicrous new ways of prosecuting and silencing their critics.’
Fans of the band have also come to Twitter to share their views on the matter:
It is believed that this was brought to the authorities attention when an ex work colleague reported the post to the police. There are suspicions that this individual was employed as a provocative agent to instigate the case.
Lead guitarist Richard Z Kruspe published a statement to his official instagram page Thursday night which read:
“The harshness of this sentence is shocking. Rammstein have always stood up for the freedom of art as a guaranteed basic right of all people.”
The full statement can be read here:
One fan commented under the post: ‘I am ashamed to be a part of Russia,’ with many more sharing the same view.
This is not the first instance in which someone has been prosecuted for the sharing of the same video, in 2019 Andrey Halavenka from Belarus was informed by officials he was being investigated for sharing the video online.
Due to his clean criminal record, he was spared a prison sentence and ordered to pay a fine of 1,275 rubles.
You can watch the video to ‘Pussy’ here.
Words by Jordan Baker