May 28, 2023

A Very Scary 77-year-old


A Very Scary 77-year-old
Yevgenia Osipova protesting in 2019. Alexei Kouprianov

Paintings by the St. Petersburg artist Elena Osipova, seized in a February 1 raid by police, have been handed over to the Investigative Committee.

Osipova, 77, is a St. Petersburg artist who has been an active dissenter and protester for over 20 years. On January 31, an exhibition of her protest signs was opened in the branch of the St. Petersburg Yabloko party offices on Shpalernaya Street.

The police arrived on February 1, allegedly responding to a bomb threat. The threat was not confirmed, no exposives were found, and all of Osipova’s posters were seized “for examination” and to be checked as “fakes” (a euphemism for anti-war or anti-regime content).

Police say that security forces “have taken the necessary measures to ensure the safety of the seized paintings, to organize their examination and research as quickly as possible.”

Yabloka protested the seizure, and two weeks ago, on May 10, the St. Petersburg City Court agreed to consider a complaint against the actions of the investigator who seized Osipova’s paintings.

Osipova was born in November 1945 and, in said she has "been a teacher my whole life." She began protesting in 2002, after the terrorist act and botched state storming of the Nord-Ost theater in Moscow. "When there is silence," she said, "the worst and most horrific things happen."

You Might Also Like

Endless February
  • April 28, 2023

Endless February

One year on, the Russian language is changing, imbued with Newspeak and Aesopian diversions.
With Mouths Sewn Shut
  • July 15, 2022

With Mouths Sewn Shut

Art is a powerful realm for protest. The Ukraine War has inspired a new wave of brave works.
Sweet Discrediting
  • May 01, 2023

Sweet Discrediting

A court in Moscow fined a pastry chef for anti-war and anti-Putin cakes.
A Painter's Protest
  • March 08, 2023

A Painter's Protest

A Crimean artist who painted a political message was beaten and forced to publicly apologize to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Art and Punishment
  • December 18, 2022

Art and Punishment

Unearthed archival documents show that Vladimir Putin investigated a dissident artist as a junior KGB agent in Leningrad.
Why I Will Demonstrate
  • January 01, 1990

Why I Will Demonstrate

Victor is a 21-year-old student in Moscow. In this guest post, he explains why he, and so many of his generation, is fed up with Russia's electoral system, and why he will be going out to protest on December 10.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
73 Main Street, Suite 402
Montpelier VT 05602

802-223-4955