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Pianist from Siberia jailed for playing Ukrainian anthem in Moscow

A pianist from Siberia has been jailed for ‘Nazi propaganda’ after playing the Ukrainian anthem in public.

He was a pianist alone in a public embankment with a piano in Moscow. Now identified as Siberian, Vladimir Fofanov, the man was soon arrested after playing the Ukrainian anthem and posting it on Twitter. Charged with inciting ‘Nazi propaganda’, the young man will spend 14 days in jail.

This is one of many reactions Russia has had to protestors of the war, whether they’re from Russia or Ukraine.

Pianist arrested
Credit: Natalia Budantseva

While it’s believed the pianist simply played the Ukrainian anthem in support of Ukraine, he was also charged with “shouting slogans of the banned organisations UNA-UNSO and the Right Sector.”  Posting the video to Twitter was cause for the court to punish Fofanov further.

UNA-UNSO, which stands for Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defence, has been included with the ultranationalist group Right Sector, a banned “extremist” organisation after Moscow occupied Crimea in 2014.

It was formed in Ukraine in the early 90s while the Soviet Union disbanded. A number of its members took part in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict which was ongoing at the time. Its leader is Dmitry Korchinsky, who is currently in charge of the nationalist Brotherhood party.

In court, despite no videos being filmed showing Fofanov shouting or speaking the banned slogans while playing the anthem, he was given his sentence of 14 days in jail. Fofanov pleaded guilty and promised not to repeat the offence.