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Russian activist jailed for sharing Rammstein’s Pussy video on social media

Rammstein
(Image credit: PYMCA/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Rammstein guitarist Richard Z Kruspe has slammed Russian authorities after an anti-Vladimir Putin activist was sentenced to two-and-a-half years for sharing one of the band’s videos on social media.

Andrey Borovikov was found guilty of “production and distribution of pornography” after sharing the x-rated video for the German band’s 2009 single Pussy on Russian social media network VKontakte. Borovikov, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison by Lomonosovsky District Court.

“I am aware of the Andrey Borovikov case,” said Kruspe on Instagram. “According to media reports, a lawsuit was filed against him for sharing the Rammstein video Pussy on Russian social networks. 

“I very much regret that Andrey Borovikov has been sentenced to imprisonment for this.

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

Borovikov shared the clip in 2014, but was only charged in 2020. Amnesty International claim that he was targetted by the Russian authorities because he worked as campaign manager to Alexei Navalny, a high profile opponent of Vladimir Putin who is himself currently serving two-and-a-half years in a labour camp.

“The case against Andrei Borovikov is utterly absurd. It is blatantly obvious that he is being punished solely for his activism, not his musical taste,” said Natalia Zviagina, Amnesty International’s Moscow Office Director.

Amnesty claim that a “former volunteer” in Borovikov’s office informed the police, after secretly recording a conversation with the activist about the video. They allege that the volunteer was planted by the authorities in order to fabricate a case against Borikov.

“The prosecution of Andrei Borovikov is a mockery of justice, and we call for all charges against him to be dropped,” said Zviagina. "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.”