On October 11, 2016, which is the 46th anniversary of the Nobel Prize in Literature award received by the Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, primarily for his book The Gulag Archipelago, young activists of the group Revolutionary Communist Youth Union (RKSM) hung a dummy with Solzhenitsyn’s mask on the gates of the GULAG History Museum in Moscow. A sign with the following poorly-written verses in Russian hung from the neck of the dummy:
Here, the traitor Solzhenitsyn has been hanged,
The one, who liked to mock the sacred truth,
Who shamelessly lied about the gulag,
He is a terrible enemy of the Motherland!
The gulag museum goes ahead with lies
And former dissidents are being glorified
Now here they are embracing as two pals:
The traitorous man and the treacherous museum!
–Translation from Radio Free Europe
Aleksandr Batov, the RKSM head, explained that the action is part of the struggle against “the lies about and slander of” the Soviet period of history and its “falsification.” He added that “we will prepare more actions.”
Roman Romanov, director of the Museum, is determined to go to police. In principle, according to Russian law, “a group act of hooliganism motivated by ideological hostility” is punished by a 7-year imprisonment (Part 2 of the Paragraph 213 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). He also said that this should be a signal for Minister of Culture Medinsky that teaching of children and youth about the past of Russia should be changed: “If these young people are really expressing their own views, and they are capable of such blasphemous acts, these acts cannot be considered as”artistic actions”, in my opinion, this is the result of [current] education and training.”