Russia’s investigators summon Belarus photographer over pictures taken in Donbas

Belarusian photojournalist Alyaksandr Vasyukovich has been summoned by the investigative Committee of Russia.

Russian investigators believe that the photos promote [the Ukrainian right party] Pravy Sektor, Vasyukovich said on Facebook. The photographer will have to appear at the investigation department of Moscow’s Tagansky district to give written explanations regarding his works.

As reported earlier, in September 2016, Moscow’s Sakharov Center was hosting a display of Direct Look 2016 winners’ works. Belarusian Alyaksandr Vasyukovich’s photos of the project ‘Commemorative Picture’ took the first place in the nomination ‘Conflict’.

In the summer of 2014, Vasyukovich spent two weeks in anti-terrorist operation zone in Donbas and met a lot of people who voluntarily left their homes and jobs to defend Ukraine from the enemy. Some of them asked him to take a commemorative photo and send it to their families. Later Alyaksandr turned the collection into the project. What distinguish his works from others are red crosses on the images of those fighters who then fell in battle.

It is Dmitry Zakharov, a deputy of Moscow’s Yakimanka district, who demanded the authorities check whether the photographer’s works propagandizes the ideas of the ‘organization banned in Russia’.

On September 28, the so-called ‘activist, philosopher and artist’ Anton Belikov covered several pictures by Alyaksandr Vasyukovich and Syarhei Loika with paint. Interestingly, a day later, a group of people including local MP Zakharov broke into the centre shouting ‘Waste jerks – save Russia!’ and attempted to destroy the photos.

“The photos by of the Belarusian author show Ukrainian punishers who organized provocations in Crimea and urged to destroy Donetsk and Luhansk republics,” Russian TV station said in its report and called the exhibition ‘Nazi-like’.