Russian activist sentenced to prison for posting Rammstein’s ‘Pussy’ video six years ago

Andrei Borovikov has ties to Vladimir Putin's opponent Alexei Navalny

A Russian activist has been sentenced to prison for sharing Rammstein’s video for ‘Pussy’ online six years ago.

Andrei Borovikov was charged with “manufacturing and distributing pornography” and was later found guilty by a Russian court.

Borovikov, who works as an environmental campaigner, will now serve two-and-a-half years in prison for posting the video, an action that took place in 2014. Amnesty International has called the verdict “utterly absurd”, suggesting that the Russian government wasn’t punishing the man for sharing the video, but for his campaigning.

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The man also has links to Alexei Navalny, an opponent of Vladimir Putin, as the former coordinator of the jailed politician’s campaign.

“It is blatantly obvious that he is being punished solely for his activism, not his musical taste,” said the organisation’s Moscow Office Director Natalia Zviagina. “The prosecution of Andrei Borovikov is a mockery of justice, and we call for all charges against him to be dropped.

“The Russian authorities should be focusing on turning around the spiralling human rights crisis they have created, not devising ludicrous new ways of prosecuting and silencing their critics.”

Rammstein have also commented on the situation, with guitarist Richard Z. Kruspe posting a short statement on Instagram in which he said he “very much regret[ted]” that Borovikov had been sentenced for sharing the band’s video.

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“The harshness of this sentence is shocking,” he added. “Rammstein have always stood up for the freedom of art as a guaranteed basic right of all people.”

The video for ‘Pussy’ features various women engaging in sexual acts. Borovikov’s lawyers have said they will appeal the sentence.

Meanwhile, Rammstein confirmed earlier this year that they had recorded a new album during lockdown. Christian “Flake” Lorenz said: “The fact that we couldn’t perform live increased our creativity. We had more time to think of new things and less distraction. As a result, we recorded a record that we hadn’t planned on.”

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