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Yelena Osipova, 77-year-old artist and war protester, investigated for military disinformation
The St. Petersburg prosecutor’s office has acknowledged that 19 antiwar paintings by Yelena Osipova, confiscated by the police from her solo exhibition, have been forwarded for “complex psycholinguistic evaluation.”
Yelena Osipova is a 77-year-old retired art teacher, who has tirelessly protested Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by standing on the city streets with her paintings. Her solo exhibition, “Peaceful Art-Protest,” opened on January 31, at the Yabloko party’s St. Petersburg office. The next day, the police disrupted the show, on the pretext of having been alerted to a bomb in the building. No bomb was discovered, but 19 paintings had been seized by the police.
Osipova’s artwork, says the city prosecutor’s official response to Yabloko’s inquiry, contains “textual inscriptions likely to convey false information about the use of Russian federal armed forces.”
The evaluation is supposed to determine whether Osipova’s art violates the Russian law against “fakes” about the military, introduced to stifle criticism of the Ukraine invasion. The results of the “psycholinguistic” inquiry into Osipova’s work should become known by August 2023. The authorities do not explain which agency is overseeing the evaluation.
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