Viral-famous for their epic bombing of St. Petersburg Bridge and notorious in Russia for their anti-authoritarian activism, the art-group Voina is now known for having two of their members arrested in a targeted raid by Moscow’s anti-extremism police, beaten, imprisoned and facing a seven year sentence for turning over a cop car. Since then, as Voina’s Alexei Plutser-Sarno tells ANIMAL (via Yana Sarno), things got better and things got worse.

Read the interview below. Voina members are now one of Russia’s most wanted criminals, or so it seems. They’re not going to stop either.

(Also, please note the update on one of our previous article on Voina, as the man in the photo is an impostor.)

How is the trial going? How has Banksy’s aid helped?

Life becomes better, life becomes merrier every day. The things are bouncing along now, as thousands of officers from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Federal Secret Service are carefully studying the works of the Voina group artists. They wiretap our phones, write down every our word. For me they have already prepared a criminal article, reading “organizing and leading a criminal community” — namely, the Voina art group. The term of imprisonment for this article is between 12 and 20 years.

How is Kasper doing?

Kasper the Striking Falcon (that is the translated variant of his real name, by the way) is growing very fast. It’s a shame that his loving father, the artist Oleg Vorotnikov, the founding father of the Voina group and its ideologist, is being kept in prison. He is in a mass cell with prisoners suffering from T.B. and hepatitis.

What remains the mission of your art collective, despite the adversaries?

Our aim is to destroy the ideological basis of totalitarianism, authoritarianism and the right-wing fascist idiocy. By our actions we symbolically revive the struggle for human rights and democracy.

Do you feel a bond with activist street art and graffiti more than the decadent mainstream art world?

The gallery art has died. Today you can do an innovative art in the street only or in prison, on the edge between Life and Death, between Reality and Imaginary. Art calls for sacrifice.

Do you expect to continue with the protest art/survival “handbook”?

Of course, we will to carry out the libertarian, anarchy and punk ideals into life. No to money! Long live the Art!


All photos courtesy of Voina. Go to en.free-voina.org for more info.