I'd be surprised if the Victory Day parade long sought with all the scandals that have already accompanied it would miss some wonderful circus performance. It was delivered on Sunday, much to the pleasure of information fast food consumers.
So, yesterday came the reports that Pussy Riot member and Mediazona editor Pyotr Verzilov was allegedly kidnapped from his had rented apartment. Media outlets have immediately linked his disappearance with the upcoming street action he announced earlier. During one of parade rehearsals, Verzilov intended to block the movement of tanks participating in the event.
But what could he expect, some may ask, from the police state with a totalitarian regime once he vowed a street performance compromising festivities the authorities seem to have a real fetish about? You'll be absolutely right to presume that the response of Russian security forces is primitive and predictable, so could it be that Pyotr Verzilov failed to foresee it? Of course, it couldn't. Moreover, he was very well aware that things go exactly this way.
So what was it after all? Was it some recklessly suicidal urge of a naive liberal activist or a pre-planned provocation? You know, the latter option seems much more viable.
The fact is that almost all Pussy Riot flash mobs and performances have one common feature that stands out brightly – they distract public attention from more pressing and acute problems and onto what they make it look as "shocking moves by liberal activists". Also, what's no less important, these moves not only distract – they also annoy and even spark aggression toward the entire liberal movement in Russia which they so vividly claim to be representing.
For example, after Croatian football player Domagoj Vida became a newsmaker by publicly saying the "Glory to Ukraine!" slogan during FIFA World Cup 2018, just a few days later, the news was pushed off the pedestal by Pussy Riot's streaking stunt at a high-profile game.
Allegedly aimed to support political prisoners in Russia, the move's actual objective was to steer people's attention off the pro-Ukrainian Croat and focus patriotism-driven aggression of Russian fans on the liberal youths who were this way manipulated into suggesting that it's probably for a good cause that many of "those damn liberals" have been thrown behind bars!
What's even more interesting, ahead of the streaking incident, on July 13, 2018, Pussy Riot met with the infamous Polish propagandist supervised by Russia's foreign intelligence, Mr Tomasz Maciejczuk – the one spinning myths about the "Misanthropic Division".
Returning to Pyotr Verzilov, I should recall that in the fall of 2018 he claimed that the GRU military intel had tried to poison him. And that statement was made in the wake of a scandalous exposure of GRU agents in Salisbury, to which Russia's FSB security service largely contributed through media platforms under its control.
So what we saw was a Pussy Riot activist pouring more fuel in the flames ignited by the FSB targeting the rival GRU agency.
Back in 2012 reports were widely spun stating that that Pussy Riot is in fact an FSB project created to compromise in the eyes of the Russians the whole idea liberalism and unite patriotic, Orthodox strata against "blasphemers raised by Western pop culture". Well, taking into account their direct contacts of these young and zealous "activists" with the Polish minion of Russia's SVR foreign intel and the fact that their performances regularly turn out to serve interests pursued by Russian authorities, I won't be surprised if this version is actually the true one.
And the fact that Pyotr Verzilov – the guy who claims he was almost poisoned by the GRU while others in Russia find themselves in jail for a mere like or share on social networks – announces a new stunt that delivers a direct blow to the patriotic minds of ordinary Russians, and then suddenly goes missing – is nothing but another circus gig starring Pussy Riot.