Russian art radicals cleared of hooliganism charges

The controversial Russian art collective Voina (War) was cleared of hooliganism charges for flipping over a police car, the group said on its website.

In an audacious protest called Palace Revolution the group flipped over a police car to protest against corruption in September 2010.

The group posted a copy of investigator’s order to end the case on Sunday.

This is the second time the case against Voina is closed. It was also closed last October, but later reopened again.

“Frankly speaking, I can’t imagine what charges they can lay to resume investigation, but, as the reality shows, prosecutors can sometimes resort to most intricate means to resume a case,” a Voina lawyer, Dmitry Dinze, told the Moskovskie Novosti newspaper.

So far, only group leader Oleg Vorotnikov faces criminal charges. He is suspected of insults and use of force against police during the March of Dissent rally on March 31.

Vorotnikov, who was released on bail and fled Russia, can also be charged with the recent police car arson on New Year’s eve for which Voina has claimed responsibility.

Voina is notorious for a number of events, including holding an orgy in a Moscow museum to mark the 2008 inauguration of President Dmitry Medvedev and painting a 65-meter phallus on a drawbridge opposite the St. Petersburg headquarters of the Federal Security Service. The group won a state prize for contemporary art in April for A Cock Captured by the FSB.


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