Activist close to Pussyriot sets fire to Russian secret service's door

Activist and artist Pyotr Pavlensky has been arrested after setting fire to the Moscow headquarters of the FSB, Russia's secret service.

Pyotr Pavlensky stands in front of the FSB building in Moscow

Pyotr Pavlensky stands in front of the FSB building in Moscow Image by Screen grab from Vimeo

Pyotr Pavlensky will be known to people as the performance artist who famously nailed his scrotum to the ground of Red Square in protest against police brutality. Again,  in 2013 he made headlines after he sewed his lips together in protest at the arrest of the band Pussyriot.

His activism has also involved wrapping himself in barbed wire and cutting off half his ear in protest at Russia's treatment of psychiatric patients and the repression of its people, as well as a simulation of the Maidan protests in St Petersburg which he carried out in 2014 with a group of activists and which already saw him facing a two years jail sentence.

The Kremlin, Moscow.

The Kremlin, Moscow. Image by Dmitry Terekhov

The latest act of protest was filmed by two journalists, who were also taken in for questioning. The video shows Pyotr Pavlensky setting fire to the door and standing in front of it holding a petrol canister. He later released a statement explaining that "The FSB acts using a method of uninterrupted terror and maintains power over 146 million people." He may now be facing a longer jail sentence. The FSB and the KGB before it, had their historical location at Moscow's Lubyanka Square  where political prisoners were interrogated in the Soviet Era.

Watch the video here.

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