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Criminal case initiated against Moscow photographer Danila Tkachenko for anti-war art event

Moscow-based documentary photographer Danila Tkachenko has become a defendant in a criminal case initiated in response to an art event he had planned for May 9, as the artist wrote on his Facebook page. Shortly before Victory Day, Tkachenko rented an apartment near Kremlin and bought 140 blue and yellow smoke grenades, which he fitted into air conditioners and planned to activate remotely during the parade in the Red Square. The idea was to have Russian tanks cross the square through the fog in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Eventually, FSB officers thwarted the art event.

The case against Tkachenko was initiated on May 9. He has not specified the charges. “The homes of my family and friends are being searched, and so are the homes of my girlfriend's relatives. A friend of mine has been beaten up and arrested for ten days; they are threatening my mother with criminal prosecution,” the artist wrote. However, he claims to have prepared the art event single-handedly, without sharing any of the details with his relatives or friends.

For the moment, he is abroad, but his loved ones are now “in danger”, he adds.

Danila Tkachenko is one of the best-known Russian documentary photographers. His works have been nominated for World Press Photo and Leica Oskar Barnack Awards. To shoot his most renowned series Motherland, he toured Russia in search of abandoned villages and set them on fire.

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