An interesting combination was played in France this week. The mayoral candidate in Paris with Macron's Forward, Republic! Party, Benjamin Griveaux decided to withdraw from the run. The move came in the wake of a leaked explicit video involving the politician. And now comes the most interesting part. The video was published by Russian activist artist Pyotr Pavlensky.
Many might have forgotten about this controversial figure, but if I mention some of his actions, for example, sowing his mouth shut or setting Russian FSB HQ doors on fire, his distinct and somewhat grotesque image probably pops up immediately.
After the "artist" was found guilty in 2016 of damaging the cultural heritage site (the entrance to the FSB HQ on Moscow's Lubyanka), while Teatr.doc actress Anastasia Slonina accused the guy of sexual harassment and assaulting her friend, Pavlensky fled to France, along with his wife. While he has fallen into oblivion in our information space, he has become a rather high-profile figure, resorting to more weird public acts.
For example, in October 2017, he was detained after setting fire to the door of the Bank of France. Following a medical, he was diagnosed with a number of mental disorders, including "delusional obsessions" and "borderline personality disorder".
But let's return to the latest case, namely, the launch through Pavlensky, who had received political asylum in France, of a spicy video discreditiing Benjamin Griveaux.
We should look back at the very beginning of the "artist's" career. He first came into a public spotlight when he sew his mouth shut in 2012 in support of the Pussy Riot band. By the way, back in 2012, versions were voiced that Pussy Riot is in fact an FSB project, ultimately aimed at discrediting liberalism and rallying Orthodox believers against "blasphemers who grew up on Western pop culture".
Then Pavlensky one day lay naked outside the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, nailing his scrotum to the pavement. But the culmination, perhaps, was setting on fire the doors of the FSB Headquarters on Lubyanka in Moscow. It might seem that such a brazen act could have ended fatally for pretty much anyone – but, as it turned out, not for our guy Pavlensky. Isn't he a bit too lucky for an ordinary artist... Is he as ordinary as most believe, really?
The thing is that Pyotr Pavlensky's acts are a vivid demonstration of one of the elements of that same FSB project, of which Pussy Riot is part. The project is about portraying a representative of modern Russian liberalism in the way most alien and disgusting to the perception of average Russians.
Once launched, the "freak" project get subjected to persecution and public outrage, being "forced" to flee from Russia in search of asylum. Once he receives it, he begins to "perform" beyond Russia's borders. Moreover, there are plenty of such examples, but mostly they are practiced in the ranks of Russia's fugitive journalists and so-called public figures.
The very fact that Pavlensky got at his disposal of a compromising video is telling – he couldn't have gotten it from thin air. It's not his thing to gather and spin tarring info, but it was he who was chosen to launch the spin.
And you know, this case testifies to the fact that it's not only the Yellow Vests that the Kremlin's agents in France revolve around. Macron was hit very elaborately and painfully. And if after this humiliation, the French president still decides to visit Russia at Putin's invitation to attend the Red Square parade and share hugs with a friendly smile, he should better repeat Pavlensky's performance with that nail, pavement, and that third element.
Indeed, after direct support by the Kremlin of Marine Le Pen, the GRU alpine base in France, terrorist acts under the guise of ISIS and the notorious Yellow Vests, which for months turned Paris into Brazilian favelas, it will be a move very worthy of the "great European leader". After all, it turns out that Macron's "third element" is in Putin's tight grip.