Yesterday we supported Voina activists dropping their ‚Voina Wanted‘ banners at Zürich. Other artivists from the coffeebreak of a revolution at cabaret voltaire participated too and finally we were able to put it up on the Fraumünster.

Voina Wanted  is a worldwide solidarity action by the Voina Group for the persecuted group member Oleg Vorotnikov. As a protest against the repressions of the Russian artist, Voina activists will hang hundreds of the 3×4 m banners depicting a portrait of Oleg Vorotnikov in various cities of the world. It is known that on demand of the Russian Interior ministry, Interpol put the artist on the international wanted list and is searching for him outside of Russia. It is also known that during the arrest on November 15, 2010 Russian cops confiscated all the IDs from Oleg Vorotnikov, Leonid Nikolayev, Natalia Sokol and her son Kasper, so none of them can leave the country. The “Voina Wanted” action mocks the actions of Russian Interior ministry and Interpol, which also needs to be reformed as it has become a toy in the hands of the corrupted bureaucrats from the authoritarian countries. The protest art action started in Vienna with the support of Sydney Ogidan (independent curator and director of the Black River Festival), Wolfgang Stranzinger (president of Lomographische AG), Gerald Matt (director of Kunsthalle Wien), Catherine Hug (curator of Kunsthalle Wien).

On December 6, 2011 Philip Kostenko, Voina Group artist, activist of the Russian human rights organization Memorial began a hunger strike. He was arrested near Gostiny Dvor at the peaceful rally in St. Petersburg against widespread violations in the State Duma elections. He was charged with failure to follow a police officer’s orders (Article 19.3). His case was heard by Judge Alexei Kuznetsov, whom many oppositionists claim is known for accepting false statements from police officers and handing down harsh punishments. Kostenko was sentenced to 15 days in custody. Another illegally arrested activist Victor Demyanenko joined Kostenko on the hunger strike. They demand “releasing all people who were detained at the peaceful rallies on December 4-6”. Kostenko is also wrongfully charged by Articles 214 (“vandalism”), 318 (“using violence against a public official”), 319 (“insulting a public official”).
He is facing other sentences. Philip Kostenko is a an organizer and participant of Voina Group actions, activist of the “Food not Bombs” movement , co-author of the innovative art collages against pre-electoral law breaches of the pro-Putin “United Russia” party. He participated in all Dissenters Marches and Strategy 31 rallies. In 2011 Kostenko was detained 8 times by police without any legal ground – neither arrest warrants nor official papers were presented. For instance because of his participation in Dissenters Marches in St. Petersburg and taking part in Voina actions, on June 17, 2011 he was kidnapped by counter-extremism Center E agents Vasily Trifan and Andrey Aleshin. Kostenko was delivered to the Investigators Committee (analogue of US FBI) department to the officer D.V. Fedichev. Police officers openly write comments containing insults and explicit threats in Kostenko’s blog which were addressed directly to him. Threats, blackmailing, arrests, assaults and batteries, initializing of falsified criminal cases, aiming to intimidate the Voina artist Kostenko, are still going on.

texts via rebelart

pics via cabaret voltaire

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