May 24, 2022

An Anthem of Dissent


An Anthem of Dissent
Fofanov playing piano near the Tura River. Screenshot of Fofanov from Twitter.

In early May, on the embankment of the Tura River in Tyumen, Russian businessman and pianist Vladimir Fofanov was arrested for playing the Ukrainian national anthem.

A video of the incident, posted after the arrest, shows Fofanov calmly playing the piano as passersby largely ignore him. Fofanov's protest comes across as understated and nonconfrontational.

Fofanov was held for 14 days by the Central District Court of Tyumen and was found guilty of propagating Nazi imagery. The prosecution claimed that Fofanov was also shouting slogans for banned far-right organizations, though there is no evidence of that in the video. His punishment was not disclosed, but he agreed with the state's charges against him and assured the court that he would not do it again.

Fofanov's arrest comes in the midst of a crackdown on dissent in both Russia and its ally, Belarus, as citizens move to distance themselves from the invasion of Ukraine.

You Might Also Like

Immortal Anti-War Demos
  • May 10, 2022

Immortal Anti-War Demos

There were brave dissenters amid pro-regime Immortal Regiment demonstrations on May 9.
Protesting Horror
  • April 11, 2022

Protesting Horror

Despite bans on protests, Russians have found creative ways to voice their anti-war stance.
Rapping for Peace
  • March 17, 2022

Rapping for Peace

Two of Russia's biggest rappers are taking a stance against the war in Ukraine.
(NOT) Morgenshtern
  • January 15, 2022

(NOT) Morgenshtern

A burgeoning new (joke) media company is founded by none other than Russia's top rapper, Morgenshtern.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

At the Circus (bilingual)

At the Circus (bilingual)

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Chekhov Bilingual

Chekhov Bilingual

Some of Chekhov's most beloved stories, with English and accented Russian on facing pages throughout. 
The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

The Little Humpbacked Horse (bilingual)

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
Russian Rules

Russian Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955