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YABLOKOs Alexander Kobrinsky sends an art reproduction of the painting "Taking a Snow Town"
by Vasily Surikov to Governor Poltavchenko

Press Release

January 9, 2013

Alexander Kobrinsky, deputy of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg from the YABLOKO faction, sent a letter to St.Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko in connection with dispersing of the "Snow Battle" flash mob organised by young people in Marsovo Polye (Champ de Mars), St.Petersburg.

St.Petersburg police dispersed several hundreds of young people who gathered for a traditional snowball fights at Marsovo Polye on January 6. Several people were detained by police.

In his letter YABLOKOs MP asked the Governor to give an answer whether he would go on with "tightening of the screws" and whether the principle "more than three people make a crowd" would become fundamental for St.Petersburg dwellers.

Alexander Kobrinsky urged the Governor to give an assessment to the actions of the police and demand from the heads of the St. Petersburg interior to change their attitude to the city residents who gathered to play snowballs.

"Such harmless actions are held without any problems and permissions all over Europe," Kobrinsky wrote. In confirmation of his words Kobrinsky set the Governor a reproduction painting by Vasily Surikov "Taking a Snow Town" (1891), depicting ancient Russian fun game, noting that the same game was banned by St.Petersburg police three days ago.

Vasily Surikov "Taking a Snow Town"

"I think if a goal is set to harm the reputation of St. Petersburg in Russia and in the world, than nothing could be better that the police actions in St.Petersburg," said Alexander Kobrinsky.

YABLOKO deputy also recollected that was not the first case of inappropriate actions of law enforcement officers. On June 5, 2012, police detained several people who were drawing in chalk on the pavement by the Mariinsky Palace. On June 10, a flash mob "The Battle of Pillows" on the Champ de Mars was stopped and about a dozen of participants were detained. On October 1, six people were detained for drawings on the pavement in front of the military commissariat of the Leningrad region (Fontanka Embankment, 90).

The cases of administrative offences against these citizens were dismissed by courts, said Kobrinsky. But the city's reputation has suffered an enormous damage, now the situation in St. Petersburg is associated that in totalitarian countries: "more than three people make an unpermitted crowd".

He also noted that the law enforcement can not base its action on the norms of the administrative law here, "The norms in such public events are so vague and indefinite that all depends on the practices of law enforcement here".

See also:

Human Rights



Press Release

January 9, 2013

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