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The Real Russia. Today. On the ground at grief-stricken Sheremetyevo, how the livre d’artiste changed 20th-century art, and a State Duma deputy gets trigger-happy

Source: Meduza

Monday, May 6, 2019

This day in history: Seven years ago, on May 6, 2012, approximately 20,000 people rallied in the “March of Millions” to protest Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a third term. After violent clashes on Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square, about 400 protesters were arrested, and 80 or so were injured. The “Bolotnaya Case,” which left some protesters facing prison sentences, stretched for years after the rally itself.
  • How passengers’ relatives coped in the hours following Sunday’s catastrophic airplane fire in Moscow
  • How the airline, the airport, and the authorities refrained from naming the number of fatalities in Moscow’s airplane fire
  • Collector Boris Friedman explains how the livre d’artiste changed 20th-century art — and how the genre brought Picasso together with the futurist Ilia Zdanevich
  • State Duma deputy apologizes and calls press conference after shooting blanks into the air in a residential neighborhood
  • In wake of 77-year-old human rights icon’s December jail sentence, his third nonprofit faces fines for failure to register as ‘foreign agent’

Disaster at Sheremetyevo 🕯️

Alexander Zemlyanichenko / AP / Scanpix / LETA

On the evening of May 5, a Sukhoi Superjet 100 airplane bound for Murmansk from Moscow turned back and made an emergency landing: the plane, owned by the Russian airline Aeroflot, had lost its radio connection. A fire soon broke out on board, though its cause has yet to be determined: some have suggested that a lightning strike sparked the fire while the plane was still in the air, while others suspect that the fire was triggered by landing gear components that flew into the engine during an unsuccessful landing. 78 people were on board the flight. Russia’s Health Ministry announced that 38 survived; the country’s Investigative Committee put that number at 37. Meduza special correspondent Kristina Safonova spent the night in Sheremetyevo with the passengers’ relatives. Some of them waited several hours for news about their loved ones but ultimately received the information they needed only from the media.

Read Meduza's report: “‘Everyone’s trying to believe that their friends and relatives are still alive’: How passengers’ relatives coped in the hours following Sunday’s catastrophic airplane fire in Moscow”

Read Meduza's overview of official responses to the fire: “How the airline, the airport, and the authorities refrained from naming the number of fatalities in Moscow’s airplane fire: A timeline”

A century-changing art genre 🎨

Anastasia Davydova

With support from the Pushkin Museum, Pablo Picasso’s house museum in Málaga, Spain, has opened an exhibit called Iliazd and Picasso. The exhibit, which will remain open until June 23, sheds light on a collaborative project by Picasso and Ilia Zdanevich, a leading thinker of the Russian avant-garde. In 1972, the two artists created a series of livres d’artiste, or handmade books with original prints. The French art dealer Ambroise Vollard invented the livre d’artiste style when he commissioned a book with lithographs created directly by rising artists, and the books ultimately became a signature 20th-century genre. The curator of the Málaga exhibit is the entrepreneur and collector Boris Friedman. We asked journalist and television host Vladimir Rayevsky to travel to Málaga, where he spoke with Friedman about 20th-century art — and about how the founder of the first IT company in the USSR found a second life as a collector.

Read Meduza's interview: “Iliazd is one of the greatest figures of the 20th century’: Collector Boris Friedman explains how the livre d’artiste changed 20th-century art — and how the genre brought Picasso together with the futurist Ilia Zdanevich”

News briefs

  • 🔫 Dmitry Ionin, a State Duma deputy from the Fair Russia party, fired several times into the air from a machine gun in the courtyard of a residential building. A video of the incident soon caught up to him. Read the story here.
  • 💰 Moscow’s Meshchansky Court has assigned a fine of 300,000 rubles (almost $4,600) to “In Defense of Prisoners’ Rights,” a nonprofit run by Lev Ponomarev. The fine comes after the 77-year-old human rights icon served a jail sentence in December. Read the story here.

Yours, Meduza