May 28, 2023

A Very Scary 77-year-old


A Very Scary 77-year-old
Yevgenia Osipova protesting in 2019. Alexei Kouprianov

Paintings by the St. Petersburg artist Elena Osipova, seized in a February 1 raid by police, have been handed over to the Investigative Committee.

Osipova, 77, is a St. Petersburg artist who has been an active dissenter and protester for over 20 years. On January 31, an exhibition of her protest signs was opened in the branch of the St. Petersburg Yabloko party offices on Shpalernaya Street.

The police arrived on February 1, allegedly responding to a bomb threat. The threat was not confirmed, no exposives were found, and all of Osipova’s posters were seized “for examination” and to be checked as “fakes” (a euphemism for anti-war or anti-regime content).

Police say that security forces “have taken the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the seized paintings, to organize their examination and research as quickly as possible.”

Yabloka protested the seizure, and two weeks ago, on May 10, the St. Petersburg City Court agreed to consider a complaint against the actions of the investigator who seized Osipova’s paintings.

Osipova was born in November 1945 and, in said she has "been a teacher my whole life." She began protesting in 2002, after the terrorist act and botched state storming of the Nord-Ost theater in Moscow. "When there is silence," she said, "the worst and most horrific things happen."

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