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Bolotnoye Case Sentences to Come Monday

Published: February 24, 2014 (Issue # 1798)



  • Defendants in the Bolotnoye case smiling for reporters from behind bars in the courtroom at Friday’s hearing.
    Photo: Igor Tabakov / SPT

A Moscow court on Friday convicted eight people of participating in riots and violence against police at an opposition protest on Bolotnaya Ploshchad in May 2012, as hundreds of supporters rallied without permission outside the court, resulting in nearly 200 detentions.

Human rights groups and Western governments believe that the trial, widely known simply as the "Bolotnoye case," has been orchestrated by the Kremlin with the aim of discouraging ordinary people from participating in opposition street protests.

Related: Bolotnoye Defendant Krivov Ends 2 Month Hunger Strike

The trial, already a focus of opposition anger, has taken on additional significance recently due to the political crisis in Ukraine, where over the weekend Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital under tenacious pressure from anti-government protesters. Russia's political forces seeking the ouster of President Vladimir Putin have looked partly with envy at the events in Ukraine, and could attempt to rally their supporters around the Bolotnoye case to spur on their own movement.

"You are delighted by the great deed of the people on Maidan," wrote opposition leader Alexei Navalny in a blog post on Sunday, referring to the main square in Kiev where the protests have been based. "Their self-organization and self-sacrifice. Remember that great deeds begin with small things."

Related: St. Pete Activists Questioned in Bolotnoye Case

"There is no need yet to face gunfire, but you must come and support the hostages who will be sentenced in the May 6 case," Navalny wrote.

The Zamoskvoretsky District Court is expected to announce the sentences Monday starting at 10:30 a.m. An unsanctioned demonstration against the verdict is planned for Monday evening on Manezh Square next to the Kremlin, although the police typically cordon off the square ahead of planned unauthorized protests.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Jan. 28



Feel like becoming a publishing mogul? Stop by the Freedom anti-cafe at 7 Ulitsa Kazanskaya today at 8 p.m. where Simferopol, Crimea-based founder and chief editor of the Holst online magazine will talk about creating an internet magaine, including what stories to cover, how find an audience and build a team, where to find inspiration and how to stand out from the crowd. Admission is the normal price of the anti-café — 2 rubles per minute, which includes tea and snacks.



Learn everything you always wanted to know about wine, and perhaps a bit more, at the Le Nez du Vin seminar for wine lovers. Held at the WineJet Sommelier School, 100 Bolshoy Prospekt Petrograd Side, at 7:30 p.m., the event will cover wine production, the basics of wine tasting, the concept of terroir and the various countries where wine is produced. Tickets are 750 rubles and include a wine tasting. Register by calling +7 921 744 6264.



Thursday, Jan. 29



Attend a master class on how to deal with complicated business negotiations today at the International Banking Institute, 6 Malaya Sadovaya Ulitsa. Running from 3 to 6 p.m., Vadim Sokolov, an assistant professor at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics, will introduce aspects of managing the negotiation process and increasing its effectiveness. Attendance is free with pre-registration by telephone on 909 3056 or online at www.ibispb.ru



Celebrate what would be writer Anton Chekhov's 155th birthday at the Bokvoed bookshop at 46 Nevsky Prospekt. Starting at 5 p.m., the legendary author will be feted with readings of his stories and short performances based on his plays by various St. Petersburg actors. Chekhov's books will also be offered at a 15% discount during the event.



Friday, Jan. 30



The Lermontov Central Library, 19 Liteyny Prospekt, will screen 'Almost Famous’ in English with Russian subtitles at 6:30 p.m. Cameron Crowe's Academy Award-winning comedy from 2000 stars Billy Crudup, Kate Hudson, and Patrick Fugit, and tells the story of a budding music journalist at Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. Admission is free.



Meet renowned Russian poet, journalist and writer Dmitry Bykov, famous for his biographies of Boris Pasternak, Bulat Okudzhava and Maxim Gorky, and winner of 2006 National Bestseller Award. Bykov will read old and new poems as well as answer questions about his works at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Main Hall, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at 1,000 rubles and are available at city ticket offices and the from the Philharmonic website www.philharmonia.spb.ru.



A retrospective of the films of Roman Polanski starts today at Loft-Project Etagi, 74 Ligovsky Prospekt, with a screening of ‘Repulsion’ at 7 p.m. and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ at 9:15 p.m. The series runs through Feb. 4 and will include Polanski's eminently creepy ‘The Tenant,’ the cult comedy ‘The Fearless Vampire Killers’ and ‘Cul-de-sac’ among others. Tickets are 150-200 rubles and the complete schedule is available at www.vk.com/artpokaz/



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