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Local Activist Sees Conspiracy in Attack

‘I believe that I was beaten out of revenge and to intimidate me so that I would cease my activities.’

Published: April 23, 2014 (Issue # 1807)



  • The Meltser F. & Co factory on the Karpovka River before it was demolished to make way for an apartment building..
    Photo: google maps

  • Preservatonist Alexei Yarema.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

An architectural preservationist who was badly beaten last week by two men has said the attack may be linked with his activism.

Alexei Yarema, the founder of the preservationist group Ecology of Ordinary Architecture, or ERA, was attacked in his doorway on Vasilyevsky Ostrov on Apr. 16, the organization reported on its website two days later.

Speaking to The St. Petersburg Times on Apr. 21, Yarema said that two men were waiting for him near his doorway when he returned home on the evening of the attack.

In the attack, which he described as being “professional,” Yarema sustained a concussion and multiple bruises, and an injury to his leg. Doctors have suggested that he was punched in the head and then kicked repeatedly as he lay unconscious on the ground.

“I am still in bed. I can’t get up because my leg fails me and I have pain in a kidney,” he said. “I think I’ll stay in bed for another week, at least.”

Yarema was hospitalized when he was found unconscious by his neighbors several minutes after the attack, but left the hospital due to a lack of medical attention there.

“We called an ambulance on Apr. 18 and a neighborhood doctor from a local polyclinic arrived. They prescribed some pills and ointments,” he said.

“The emergency services said they would send a neurologist to see me but I don’t think there is a pressing need for this anymore. For the first three days, my head was the worst because of the concussion. Since then, that has got a little better, but the rest has gotten worse.”

Two men were involved in the attack on Apr. 16.

“There is an electromagnetic lock on the doorway,” he said.

“When I approached it, there were two men waiting in the archway of my house. As soon as they spotted me they emerged from the arch because my entrance is from the front of the building rather than through the courtyard,” said Yarema.

“When I opened the door, I saw that one of them was clearly heading toward me and shut the door in his face. Some people were leaving the building at around the same time and when they opened the door he sneaked in. The elevator was out of order and he caught up with me on the fourth floor. He attacked me without saying a single word.”

Yarema believes that the attack was most likely linked to his preservationist activity.

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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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