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The Russian Orthodox fundamentalist who threatened to burn down movie theaters in 2017 has been freed

Source: RIA Novosti

On November 26, a court sentenced Alexander Kalinin, the leader of the group “Christian State,” to a year already served in pretrial detention for issuing violent threats to movie theaters that showed the historical romantic drama film “Matilda.” He went free in the courtroom. The ultra-conservative Christian activist previously faced extremism charges, but this case was dropped after the partial decriminalization of Russia’s hate speech laws. 

In 2017, the so-called Christian State sent letters to movie theaters around Russia, threatening to burn down cinemas that screened “Matilda” (Alexey Uchitel’s film about the romance between ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya and Nicholas II). The movie upset Russian Orthodox fundamentalists who regard Nicholas as a martyred saint.