Saturday, February 16, 2013


Russia's Anti-Putin 'Singing Paratrooper' Has Car Wash Demolished

Mikhail VistitskyMikhail Vistitsky
Mikhail Vistitsky
Mikhail Vistitsky
By Claire Bigg
The Russian authorities have knocked down a Moscow car wash belonging to a paratrooper-turned-opposition-activist.

Mikhail Vistitsky, whose amateur band the Singing Paratroopers shot to fame with a song sharply critical of President Vladimir Putin, says the building was unlawfully demolished overnight.

"OMON riot police occupied the premises overnight, without any bailiffs present," he told RFE/RL.

"Without any documents or explanations, they started taking people to police buses and stations, and destroyed our building. In my opinion, this is real banditry, a real property grab."

He said many of the masked men wore no badges and refused to identify themselves.

What appears to be footage shot moments before the demolition (see below) shows vehicles belonging to supporters of Vistitsky being evacuated from the scene with their owners still at the wheel.

Vistitsky, who also rushed to the scene in a bid to save his car wash, was himself briefly detained and accused of damaging the equipment brought to knock down the building -- a charge he denies.

The former paratrooper was notified about the pending demolition in October. He was told that the car wash had been renovated in violation of city regulations and needed to be razed.

Vistitsky appealed and a court on December 24 backed him up, ruling that the bailiffs had no legal authority to order the demolition.

Some rights activists have speculated that the car wash was razed to make way for a shopping center.

Vistitsky, however, believes the destruction of his business is Kremlin retaliation for his political activism.

"This is clearly meant to pressure the opposition. That's where we held our meetings, that's where our Civic Position shows were filmed," he told RFE/RL. "The authorities obviously did not like it and took this step."

Vistitsky has been a vocal critic of Putin's regime over the past year.

His band's song "Nobody But Us" became an instant hit after being posted on the Internet in January.

The song portrays Putin as a corrupt bureaucrat, slamming him for comparing the opposition's white-ribbon symbol to a condom and calling on him to step down.

The Singing Paratroopers have since become fervent opposition activists and performed at anti-Kremlin rallies.
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Comment Sorting
by: nirvichara from: us
December 29, 2012 05:01
Well, every country has the right to protect itself from the idiots and terrorists.

In US we have "Patriot act " that will allow to jail any person who threaten to overthrow the democratically elected government for an indefinite period of time and strip him of all civil rights to defend himself.

Russians are doing the same . How we are different from Russian government ?
In Response

by: arky from: arkansas
December 29, 2012 10:02
If you do not see a difference between the US and Russia, you are not paying attention.
In Response

by: Roger from: New Mexico
January 01, 2013 18:57
Yes, we have differences. But may we never forget the Spirit of the Elbe, when Russian and American soldiers finally defeated the Nazis and celebrated together in peace and friendship. I wasn't there, but I'll bet a buck that some of them made a promise to each other and quietly to themselves: "never again."
May we never forget Eisenhower, Truman and their Soviet counterparts, who refused Patton's and his Soviet counterparts' urgings to continue the fighting. May we please never forget a Soviet naval commander named Arkhipov who surely saved the world as we've known it by refusing a submarine commander's order to launch a missile during the Cuban Crisis. Now THAT's a patriot...
The US isn't perfect - we have patriots, idiots and terrorists, too, you're right. But good Americans work VERY hard to try to ensure that they maintain their freedoms without trampling others'. And if there's a problem, we work it out. As peaceably as possible. The people in US jails are the ones who resorted to unnecessary violence, not the ones who proudly raised only their voices and spoke the truth. And that is precisely what worries the US now, the fact that Russia seems to be sledding down a mountain with no brakes. The US speaks an inconvenient truth, Russia punishes the US... Yes, some children have died, and that is a horrible shame on the US. We need a better system of ensuring kids' welfare, and we will now work hard on that, look long and hard at our society and ourselves.
We also ask Russia now to look into its famous soul and ask one hard question: "again, or never again?"
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
December 29, 2012 15:41
The difference dorogaya kgb-fsb blyad is the one between the earth and the sky---even the stalinists have something to say here but you need to take a double dose of pokhmelin pills for a couple of years to get sober and understand what its all about!!!
In Response

by: Jim from: ZOG Occupied Amerika
December 29, 2012 16:07
The good paratrooper and his comrades need to be reminded of Alexander Solzhenitsyn's words regarding the proper response to tyranny:
"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?

Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?...

The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of [Putin's] thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!
If this former paratrooper gets his carwash back, he should put his training to good use! He should invite others to help set up a defensive perimeter around the car wash. When those plain clothes goons show up next time, attack them as if they were NATO mercenaries!

Put up a portrait of Solzhenitsyn and his quote in a prominent place next time.
In Response

by: Roger from: New Mexico
December 29, 2012 16:27
We differ from you in that we are free to voice our criticism of our government, when it is wrong or right, in order to help make it more honest and responsive to the needs of the people.

(And judging by your reverse sentence structure,
you, N, are NOT one of US...
In Response

by: Jack from: US
December 29, 2012 17:09
rest assured the "democratically elected" US government did not need Patriot Act to burn alive dozens of Christians in Waco, TX, including women and children. The "democratically elected" ruling mafia does not really need elections too, since it is self-electing, periodically flipping "republican" to "democratic" mask, to make up for the lost "elections" fun. Anything outside of ruling mafia's control is unthinkable in this country
In Response

by: James from: Nebraska
December 29, 2012 18:52
Have the suits jailed your family yet for your subversive comment? No. Torn down your workplace? No. That's the difference.
In Response

by: Jack from: US
December 30, 2012 17:26
if you don't hear about such cases in state (i.e. mafia)-controlled US media it does not mean they do not exist. Check what happened to Michigan militiamen who dared to exercise their Second Amendmend rights.
The ruling mafia banned public calls for overthrow of ruling mafia.
Just like in old USSR, the system survives only as long as it is sustained by economic model. However with out-of-controlled borrowing and money printing by ruling mafia, the days are nearing when the system will collapse, inevitably, as it did in USSR. With USSR collapse Ronald Reagon stole the thunder with claming he "won", even though he had nothing to do with it. With imminent USA economic collapse, should we count on Putin claiming the credit? or would it be Hillary Clinton?

by: Ben
January 06, 2013 15:16
Everything-for friends,the Law-for enemies! This authorities` slogan (as they say) is unfortunately the topical one in Russia. The quality of the laws and the Russians` habit to neglect it make them the easy prey of the authorities as in the case of the Duma`s deputy.

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