Court puts anti-war activist Maria Volokh in jail for 20 days for performance in front of Defence Ministry building

A court in Moscow has put Maria Volokh, an activist from the Yabloko party, in jail for 20 days for an anti-war performance in front of the Defence Ministry building, the activist’s Telegram channel reports.

Volokh was charged with “repeated violation of events regulation”. Three more women took part in the performance, one of them, Maria Balandina, was fined 20,000 rubles [€320].

The women, wearing white ghillie suits with ‘No nukes’ written on them, burned flares nearby the Defence Ministry building on 20 November. Volokh was detained the next day.


“The aim of our performance was to draw people’s attention to what militaristic frenzy can lead to and show an alternative way to solve the issue,” the activists said.

Volokh was a candidate for municipal deputies in Moscow at this year’s election. She was eventually barred from running and fined 2,000 rubles [€32] for “displaying extremist symbols”. The reason was Volokh’s LinkedIn CV where she mentioned volunteering at Alexey Navalny’s presidential campaign in 2017.

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Volokh was later fined 60,000 rubles [€950] for “discrediting the Russian army” and “violating events regulation” at an anti-war performance she held this summer. The girl went to the centre of Moscow with fellow candidate Sergey Smirnov, her hands tied. Both had their mouths sealed with black tape and held a poster showing eight stars [meant to represent the censored phrase No To War in Russian].

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