Russia: Rock critic faces prison



Rock critic faces prison

The Russian rock critic and cultural commentator Art Troitsky (Artemy Troitsky) is in court facing four lawsuits, including a two-year prison sentence for “criminal slander”, for being too outspoken for modern Kremlin sensibilities.

“Having four lawsuits against me and being forced to go to court twice every week has made my life a little insane,” Art Troitsky wrote in an e-mail to Freemuse.

Art Troitsky is a professional music critic, radio-DJ, tv presenter and university teacher. He has been doing master class on music journalism at the Moscow State University for nine years. He has previously participated in some of Freemuse’s actions. In 2009, a Russian music festival labelled him as “Russia’s most famous music journalist.” 

Two accusations put against him are music-related:

In the first case, Art Troitsky and Yuri Shevchuk, Russia’s foremost rock protestant and civic activist, were giving prizes to the best and the worst policemen in Russia. This has happened during the artist’s concert in Moscow, and one of the policemen who received a “worst policemen prize” has sued Art Troitsky both on civil and criminal charges of offending him.

In the second case, in a television documentary, he called a former rock guitarist named Vadim Samoylov the “trained poodle” of President Medvedev’s chief of staff, Vladislav Surkov.

Art Troitsky has called the local rock star Vadim Samoilov, notorious for being a mouthpiece for Kremlin high profile politicians, a “trained poodle of Surkov” (Vladislav Surkov, President Medvedev’s chief of staff and Putin’s chief ideologist).

Surkov and Samoilov once collaborated on a rock album, but are both now in high-level politics, so Art Troitsky’s not-terribly-rude remarks are being taken very seriously.

Art Troitsky


The Independent – 18 May 2011:

‘Russian critic faces prison for calling ‘pro-Kremlin’ star a poodle’

The Independent – 18 May 2011:

‘John Kampfner: Troitsky’s only crimes are humour and irreverence’


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