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Yakut shaman Alexander Gabyshev announces new cross-country campaign on horseback

Alexander Gabyshev — a self-described shaman from the Siberian city of Yakutsk best known for making several attempts to travel on foot to Moscow to “expel Putin” from the Kremlin — has announced plans to undertake another campaign. This time, however, he plans to cross the country on horseback. 

In an audio statement released on YouTube, Gabyshev explained that his next march is scheduled to begin in March 2021. He plans to depart from Yakutsk and will be joined by his main team of volunteers in the Siberian city of Irkutsk. Rather than traveling on foot, Gabyshev plans on riding a white horse, while his supporters follow along by car.

As planned, I will be on horseback, the rest, probably in [a car]. Therefore, we will move quickly. From Irkutsk we will reach Altai, this is a place of power for all of Russia. Then through Siberia we will reach the Urals, and [from] there Moscow is just a stone’s throw away.

Gabyshev didn’t specify the aim of his upcoming crusade.

Viktor Yegorov, a writer from Tyumen who participated in Gabyshev’s 2019 trek, said that the shaman announced the new campaign in a group on social media, where his supporters discuss his political program.

Shaman Alexander Gabyshev first set off from Yakutsk to Moscow with plans to “exorcise” Russian President Vladimir Putin in the spring of 2019. Since then, Russian law enforcement have arrested Gabyshev, forced him into psychiatric treatment, and initiated legal proceedings against him on multiple occasions.

In December 2019, Gabyshev announced a second attempt at his walk, but he was arrested immediately and fined for disobeying police.

Gabyshev planned a renewed attempt at his campaign last March, and then again in the summer of 2020, when he also wanted to travel on horseback. However, in May 2020 he was forcibly taken to a psychiatric clinic and kept there for two months. Following his forced hospitalization, the Russian human rights group Memorial declared Gabyshev a political prisoner.

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