Once a hero from the “ninth company”, today a “traitor to the fatherland”.  How Arthur Smolyaninov caused a storm in Russia

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Russia’s war with Ukraine. Today is 320

Most Russians probably know “February” – the main character in the movie “9th Company”. His role was played by the famous Russian actor Artur Smolyaninov. He played an orphan who first tasted life on the street, and then went to war in Afghanistan in one company, for example. With Ukrainian, Buryat and Chechen. The only one who survived after an unequal fight with the Mujahideen. This is one of the world’s most famous and important films ever made in post-Soviet Russia. Vladimir Putin was impressed with the film, and after its premiere in 2005, he met director Fyodor Bondarchuk and the actors. Then he was at the meeting and Smolyaninov. For several days now, for the Moscow authorities, he has been one of the main “enemies of the Motherland.”

– If you go to this war, you will only be on the side of Ukraine, – he declared in an interview with independent journalist Kirill Martynov (“Novaja Gazeta Europa”). – You have two brothers. You are the third brother. One of the brothers attacked the other brother. Will you defend your brother? Yes, of course, make it clear. He also stated that he was not interested in the further fate of Russia. – Honestly, I don’t care what form Russia will remain in. It will collapse or it will not collapse. It will turn into the Ural Republic, Belmen or Khakass. Or perhaps only the autonomous Jewish region will remain, and the rest will be reduced to radioactive ashes, he said.

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He left Russia for Latvia at the beginning of the Russian invasion, denounced the war, lost his job in Moscow and was expelled from all film projects he was involved in. He said – I conquered the empire in myself and realized that the world is bigger than Moscow and the Russian Federation.

His remarks caused a storm in Russia. On Monday, the head of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, ordered the initiation of criminal proceedings against the actor for numerous statements “directed against Russia.” Former President and Putin’s deputy in the Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, suggested that “traitors” who support Ukraine should be punished according to “wartime rules”. He suggested that if such a person was outside the country and “the law does not work”, then “quiet groups of trusted and unnoticed persons” should be punished. In response, the Chairman of the Constitutional Committee of the Federation Council, Andrei Klichas, reminded that the State Duma “has not yet adopted the law” on the introduction of martial law and the president has not yet signed it.

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And State Duma deputy Oleg Morozov has already proposed banning “such Russians” from entering the country for 20 years. In turn, Yevgeny Popov, a publicist and Duma deputy, suggested depriving the actor of his citizenship.

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