More violence regarding film hated by Orthodox activists


Znak, 4 September 2017


A resident of Irbit, 39-year-old Denis Murashov, who this morning rammed the "Kosmos" movie theater with a UAZ loaded with barrels with gasoline and gas canisters, trying to set fire to it because of Aleksei Uchitel's film "Matilda" about a premarital affair of Emperor Nicholas II and the ballerina Matilda Koseshinskaia, a source close to the investigation told According to his information, the man declared this during interrogation.


Distribution of the motion picture will begin only in October, although throughout the spring and summer the film has been subjected to sharp criticism on the part of Orthodox believers. The most prominent opponent of "Matilda" is the former prosecutor of Crimea, Russian State Duma Deputy Natalia Poklonskaia.


In which movie theaters of Ekaterinburg the film will be shown is still unknown. In February of this year, the representative of a different site, the director of the municipal movie theater "Saliut," Sergei Fediakov, announced plans to rent the film.


We note that earlier, Russian movie theaters and movie distributors often received letters with threats of mass disorders and arson in the event of showing Aleksei Uchitel's film "Matilda." They were signed by the organization "Christian State—Sacred Rus." The last time such a mailing was made was last week. In the name of "Christian State—Sacred Rus" an appeal with the caption "Peace to you, dear directors of movie theaters and movie distributors" arrived. At the start, the authors discuss good and evil for three pages.


In the end, the film "Matilda" is called an inhumane insult to the Russian land, Russian people, and Russian history, and it is suggested that its distribution will start a war. The authors promise that thousands of people will come out onto the streets and "really begin to set fire to movie theaters." The first victim of terror was the "Rok" studio of the director of "Matilda," Aleksei Uchitel, and the "Lendok" studio in St. Petersburg. In the night of 31 August, unidentified persons tossed bottles with flammable mixture into the building where they are located.


Denis Murashov really displays his active adherence to the Orthodox faith, judging by his page on the social network Odnoklassniki. As already reported, on it are many photographs of Denis made beside Orthodox churches and within churches. It is known that several years ago Murashov married his wife. With more careful study of the page, one can find sharper statements filled with the characteristics of a fanatical believer. For example, on 5 April 2014, not long after the Euromaidan in Kiev, Denis Murashov wrote that if the new government in Ukraine permits same-sex marriage, that means it is of the devil. On the same day, Murashov called Orthodox not to receive electronic [identification?] documents.


It is curious that yesterday the vicar of the Moscow patriarchate, the head of the patriarchal Commission on Culture, Father Tikhon, was in Ekaterinburg. At a meeting with students, among other issues he gave his comments relative to the film "Matilda."  By his own admission, the cleric does not see any means for prohibiting the release of this film for circulation. "I think that bans are a dead end. We have no instruments for bans, no censorship. But we must discuss the truth of history and we defend this right for ourselves. This is a lie about the life of the tsarist family, a lie about our history, and from the artistic point of view it is vulgarity. And then, as one wishes: if one wants to support such a film, support it," Father Tikhon explained. The man who rammed the movie theater "Kosmos" was wanted for three years as missing.


As reported, today at about 6:00 a UAZ [Ulianovsk Auto Factory] van, in which there were three gas cylinders and two barrels of gasoline along with firewood, rammed the entry way of the "Kosmos" movie theater. The driver of the vehicle threw a bottle with a Molotov cocktail into the building, and ran from the scene of the action. After this, fire broke out in the theater in an area of 30 square meters. Nobody was injured. Thanks to the action of fire fighters, the explosion of the bottles and berrels with gasoline was avoided.


The arrest of the driver of the UAZ was reported around 11:00. The information was confirmed at the press service of the chief directorate of the Russian MVD for Sverdlovsk province and the Sverdlovsk directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia. He turned out to be 39-year-old native of Irbit Denis Murashov. At the present time, personnel of law enforcement agencies and special services are working with him. According to the Sverdlovsk directorate of the Investigative Committee, the man is in psychiatric care. It is also known that since 2015 the man has been wanted as missing.


A criminal case on part 2 of article 167 of the Criminal Code of the RF, "deliberate damage of property committed by means of arson," has been opened regarding the incident. (tr. by PDS, posted 4 September 2017)

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