Alexander Gabyshev, who has twice set out from Yakutia to Moscow on foot with the intention of exorcising President Vladimir Putin, has announced that he will begin his walk a third time in March 2020. Gabyshev, who has attracted a group of companions since he first began walking to Moscow, notified his supporters of his plans in a video posted to YouTube.
“Our entire band will walk from here. Regardless of any court decisions or decisions from the government. I obey only God’s law,” Gabyshev says in the video.
The shaman emphasized multiple times that his march will be peaceful: “My band will walk in peace. And all Russia will walk in peace. [We will walk] for a time of change — for the demon to be exorcized by peaceful methods.”
He continued, “I am a warrior. I have chosen the path of a warrior. This is only for myself; this is my cross. I am not calling on anyone to take up arms or force. Nobody — not the members of my band, not Russia, not the world. Friends, take a peaceful path.”
During Gabyshev’s first march toward Moscow, he was arrested and charged with making calls to extremism, but he was never indicted. The shaman then began walking to Moscow again in December, but he was again arrested almost immediately. His attorneys have said he was then charged with attacking a police officer, but Russian investigators denied any such charges.