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Activist Stabbed on Nevsky

Published: May 22, 2014 (Issue # 1811)



  • Local protester Miroslav Romanov was attacked while demonstrating with this placard on Sunday.
    Photo: Solidarity

A Russian nationalist who was allegedly on his way to join pro-Russian insurgents in eastern Ukraine stabbed a pro-Crimean Tatar protester on Nevsky Prospekt Sunday.

Activist Miroslav Romanov, who took part in a series of one-man protests to mark the 70th anniversary of the Soviet deportations of Crimean Tatars, was attacked at around 4 p.m. while standing with a placard that read We demand a recognition of Stalins deportation of these people as a crime, and its organizers and participants as war criminals.

Speaking to The St. Petersburg Times on Monday, Romanov said that the attacker did not utter a word as he attacked the placard with a knife, injuring Romanov in the process.

Before that he started to quarrel [with other demonstrators], threatening to bring the boys, and then he came up to me, stabbed me and walked away, Romanov said.

He cut through the placard and the knife slipped and cut my shirt, the left part of my stomach and my bag. Actually, the bag is what saved me. He used all his power, downward, with his right arm.

Despite receiving a flesh wound, Romanov refused to be hospitalized when an ambulance arrived 15 minutes later to give first aid.

According to Romanov, the attacker was detained by Solidarity co-chairman Konstantin Yershov and police officers who were nearby. They acted promptly; its lucky that the police were around, otherwise he would have fled, said Romanov.

The accused attacker is Ruslan Pseush, a resident of Yelizavetino in the Gatchinsky District of the Leningrad Oblast.

A further police search revealed that Pseush was carrying several knives. According to Romanov, Pseush denied attacking him at first, but later started bragging and posing as a hero, he said.

An inquiry officer told Romanov that Pseuch would be kept in custody for the time being, he added.

According to Yershov, Pseush, while detained at the police station, insisted that he had the right to object to the protests on Nevsky Prospekt. He didnt deny that he was swinging with a knife. Instead he insisted that he was aiming for the placard only, with no intention to inflict bodily harm unto anyone, Yershov told The St. Petersburg Times on Monday.

In his blog on Russian social network VKontakte, Pseuch had posted anti-Ukrainian remarks and urged people to go to Ukraine to join pro-Russian insurgents. His most recent postings suggest that he was planning to go to Ukraines unstable areas himself.

Everythings great. I am leaving for the south. The ticket is in my pocket, he wrote on May 16. At 11:36 a.m. on Sunday, the day of the attack, he wrote, I am off... Good luck to everyone!

Pseuchs profile page also heavily features photos of him posing in army uniform with weapons and knives, while several photos showed him giving a Nazi salute. His friends on the social network include Alexander Barkashov, the leader of the neo-Nazi movement Russian National Unity (RNE), which is believed to be assisting in transporting Russian militants to southeastern Ukraine.

When Pseuch was detained after the attack, he had a train ticket to Rostov-on-Don, the largest nearest Russian city to the Ukrainian border, Solidarity activists said.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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