“This isn’t a bad dream.” Boris Akunin added to “list of terrorists and extremists.” State Duma deputy demands writer be “destroyed” for criticising invasion of Ukraine
Source: Wikipedia

18 December 2023

The writer Boris Akunin (real name, Grigori Chkhartishvili) has been added to the Rosfinmonitoring [Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation] “list of terrorists and extremists.” 

Source: Spektr.press

“Fake news” and extremism

The writer Boris Akunin (real name, Grigori Chkhartishvili) has been added to the Rosfinmonitoring [Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation] “list of terrorists and extremists.”  Criminal cases have also been opened against the writer under articles on “military fake news” and public calls for terrorism, reports the press service of the Russian Investigative Committee.

“The Investigative Committee, Russia’s main investigative administration, has brought criminal charges against Grigori Chkhartishvili, also known as Boris Akunin. He is suspected of public justification of terrorism and public dissemination of knowingly false information concerning the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (Art. 205.2, Art. 207.3, of the Russian Criminal Code). The investigation plans to declare Chkhartishvili a wanted man,” the Investigative Committee stated.

Individuals who land on this list are stripped of the possibility of using financial services, including opening bank accounts, using bank cards, and taking out loans.

“An unlucky homeland fallen into the clutches of criminals”

After being added to the “list of terrorists,” the writer himself stated that Russia is an “unlucky homeland fallen into the clutches of criminals.” On his website Akunin wrote:

I wanted to write something disdainful in connection with my being declared a terrorist in the Russian Federation, something like, ‘What do I care what those Tsapkovsky thugs from Kushchevka* declare me?’ But this isn’t about me. And this isn’t Kushchevka. This is about our unlucky homeland, which has fallen into the clutches of criminals. The people who live there—even those who haven’t realized it yet—are hostages. What awaits them next?

A seemingly minor event, book banning, declaring some writer there a terrorist, is in fact an important milestone. Books have not been banned in Russia since Soviet times. Writers have not been accused of terrorism since the Great Terror.

This isn’t a bad dream, this is going on in Russia in reality, in fact. Safeguard yourself, don’t lose yourself, if you’re in the Russian Federation. And if you’ve left but you’re having a very hard time in a foreign land and are considering returning—don’t. The night is going to get blacker and blacker. But for all that, later the dawn will come

Scandal with prankers and a false Zelenskyy

The scandal around Akunin heated up after the pro-Kremlin prankers Vovan and Leksus called him pretending to be Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. During the conversation, Akunin declared his support for Ukraine, something he had said many times before in his public statements. Vovan and Leksus posted a recording of the conversation on the net.

A few days later, State Duma Deputy Andrei Gurulev, appearing on air on Vladimir Soloviev’s show, described Akunin as an “enemy” and called for Akunin’s “destruction.” Before this, Soloviev had said, “A certain Akunin has stated that the army is an assemblage of criminals, society’s discards.”

AST Publishers and the Chitai-Gorod bookstores have stopped selling books by Akunin and the writer Dmitry Bykov, whom the prankers had called pretending to be Andrei Ermak, director of the Ukrainian president’s office.

Boris Akunin stated that he did not tell the prankers anything new in that conversation. According to him, his books “will be published somewhere on the territory of freedom.”

In my conversation with the clowns pretending to be Ukrainians, I said the same thing I say and write publicly:
 — I consider the Putin regime criminal.
 — I consider the war he has unleashed criminal.
 — I consider the Russian army’s actions criminal.
  — Putin’s defeat will be Russia’s victory.
 — Russia will not be free unless it “de-Muscovizes,” that is, becomes a genuine federation.
 — Ukraine has the right to answer blow for blow.
 — I have helped, am helping, and will help Ukrainians.
(As to the idea that I supposedly agree with the thesis that “a good Russian is a dead Russian,” that is a ridiculous lie. As usual for this riffraff, they’ve cherry-picked my words, fiddled around with them, and done some recombining. I don’t give a damn).

Dear Russian readers. If we are saying goodbye, it’s only for a while—as long as you remain under the power of a dictatorship. Until we meet again! Soon, I hope.

Previously, Akunin reported that the Prosecutor’s Office had “persistently recommended” to one of the theaters where a play based on his book was running to remove his name from the posters. Otherwise, they threatened “trouble” for the theater’s administration, according to the writer’s information.

* A village in Krasnodar region where a criminal band murdered 12 people, including four children, in 2010 – ed.

Translated by Marian Schwartz

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