Anti-Putin activist pretends to shoot himself in Red Square

Security scare in Moscow as anti-Putin activist fires gun into the air and pretends to shoot himself in the head in Red Square before being tackled by cops

  • Pavel Krisevich, 20,  fired two shots in the air before appearing to shoot himself in Moscow’s Red Square on Friday
  • Armed police quickly surrounded the activist and pinned him to the ground
  • Local media reported he was taken to the nearby Kitai Gorod police station
  • Krisevich was said to be protesting ‘repression’ under President Vladimir Putin 
  • He spent 15 days in jail last year for staging a mock crucifixion outside the FSB security services’ headquarters in Moscow 

Police have detained an opposition activist in Moscow’s Red Square after he simulated shooting himself in the head as a political protest. 

Pavel Krisevich, 20, fired two shots into the air on Friday before putting the Makarov pistol, loaded with blanks, to his temple and firing in front of shocked tourists.   

He was quickly surrounded by armed law enforcement, who pinned him to the ground. 

The Kremlin critic and performance artist reportedly sustained burns to his face from the stunt but was otherwise unharmed.    

The protest was reportedly against ‘repressions’ under Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the Open Media news outlet saying Krisevich had prepared a manifesto beforehand.

News source Readovka said Krisevich was initially taken to the nearby Kitai Gorod police station.

Police also detained journalist Nika Samusik who recorded the performance on video, Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe reported. 

Police have detained an opposition activist in Moscow’s Red Square after he simulated shooting himself in the head as a political protest

Pavel Krisevich (centre in grey coat), 20, fired two shots into the air on Friday before putting the Makarov pistol, loaded with blanks, to his temple and firing in front of shocked tourists

He was quickly surrounded by armed law enforcement, who pinned him to the ground. The Kremlin critic and performance artist reportedly sustained burns to his face from the stunt but was otherwise unharmed

‘How to get rid of fear… of the repression of the machine? To run away? To hide? We have a solution for you,’ the manifesto reads.

‘The state labels protest with the stigma of a crime. It forces us to see ourselves as criminals inside cells…

‘But what is the state without state intimidation? An empty space, clearly.’

Krisevich went on to write that ‘fearlessness’ was the way to respond to ‘the police state’.

‘There will be no more fear. There will be shots before the Kremlin curtain.’

Later on Friday, investigators where photographed examining the scene, where the gun still lay on the cobbles of the square. 

Friday’s stunt is not the first time Krisevich has made headlines for his dramatic protests. 

He was jailed for 15 days last year and expelled from a Moscow university for posing as a crucified Christ outside the central Moscow headquarters of Russia’s FSB security service.

Burning papers, symbolising criminal cases against Russian citizens, burned in front of Krisevich, who was mounted on a cross, during the protest. 

He was sentenced to a further 10 days in jail in May for participating in a protest in central Moscow in support of political prisoners by displaying their paintings, Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe reported. 

Friday’s stunt is not the first time Krisevich (pictured) has made headlines for his dramatic protests. He was jailed for 15 days last year for posing as a crucified Christ outside the central Moscow headquarters of Russia’s FSB security service

Krisevich, born in 2000, has previously stated that he has ‘lived all my life under Putin.’

‘I am not afraid that my activity will lead to a criminal case. It means that they are afraid that I am drawing attention to some problems.

‘The cops live in their own world, but they understand that in one moment everything will become like Belarus,’ he said, referencing ongoing mass protests that began in neighbouring Belarus last year against the government and its authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko.    

‘Everything will be more serious here than in Belarus, because there are more people,’ Krisevich said.

His protest came on the eve of Russia Day, the country’s national holiday and two days after groups linked to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were outlawed. 

The move by the Russian court, which declared the groups as ‘extremist’ bans allies of the opposition figure from participating in parliamentary elections in September.  

The Kremlin says it tolerates political opposition if it is done lawfully, but has portrayed Navalny and his allies as U.S.-backed trouble makers intent on triggering social unrest. 

It has made no comment so far on Krisevich’s arrest today. 

The protest was reportedly against ‘repressions’ under Russian President Vladimir Putin, with the Open Media news outlet saying Krisevich had prepared a manifesto beforehand. News source Readovka said Krisevich was initially taken to the nearby Kitai Gorod police station. Pictured: Investigators at the scene

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