Russian activist sets fire to FSB Lubyanka door

Russian activist sets fire to FSB Lubyanka door

A Russian artist and political activist has been arrested after setting fire to the Moscow headquarters of the country’s security service, the FSB.

Pyotr Pavlensky set the door of the Lubyanka building alight and was pictured standing in front of the blaze holding a petrol can.

Mr Pavlensky was arrested in 2013 after he nailed his scrotum to the floor of Moscow’s Red Square in protest.
The Lubyanka building is the historical home of Russia’s security services.

The imposing building was used by the country’s secret police and later KGB – the forerunner to the FSB – and contains a prison.

The performance artist released a video of the stunt, and said in a statement: “The FSB acts using a method of uninterrupted terror and maintains power over 146 million people.”

He has been questioned on suspicion of petty hooliganism, according to, a Russian website that monitors the detention of activists.

Two journalists who filmed the performance were taken in for questioning, Russian media reported.

Mr Pavlensky hit the headlines in 2013 after nailing his scrotum to the cobblestone of Red Square to protest against tight police control.

He has previously sewed his lips shut to protest against the arrest of the band Pussy Riot, cut off part of his earlobe in a protest over the forced psychiatric treatment of dissidents, and wrapped his naked body in a “cocoon” of barbed wire outside Russia’s parliament building.

The artist is facing three years in prison over a 2014 performance in St Petersburg, in which activists set fire to tyres and waved a Ukrainian flag to simulate the Maidan protests that led to the ousting of Ukraine’s pro-Moscow leader, Viktor Yanukovych.

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