Russian Activist Fined in Orthodox Church Slur Case
MOSCOW, May 17 (RIA Novosti/RAPSI) - A Moscow court fined the head of a
consumer rights group 100,000 rubles (about $3,200) on Friday for
libeling a Russian religious foundation.
In an interview with Novaya Gazeta last September, Mikhail Anshakov, the
head of Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, claimed the Christ the Savior
Cathedral in downtown Moscow housed a business center including the
offices of 15 commercial firms, a tire-changing service, a dry-cleaners,
a parking lot, a cafeteria, and jewelry shops.
Anshakov accused Orthodox Church head Patriarch Kirill of “trading in
the House of God” and appealed to the state prosecutor to investigate
what he said was the inappropriate use of the cathedral by the Christ
the Savior Cathedral Foundation, which oversees trade at the church.
The appeal was unsuccessful, and the Cathedral Foundation's head, Vasily
Poddevalin, accused Anshakov of libel.
Anshakov, who was not present in Moscow’s Presnensky District Court on
Friday, denied libel and said he had only passed judgment, which was not
subject to prosecution.
In late December, Anshakov was hospitalized after an attack in central
Moscow by a man wielding a crowbar. He suffered a neck injury and a
The Christ the Savior Cathedral was the site of a a controversial
protest in February 2012 by anti-Putin punk band Pussy Riot, for which
two of the performers were later sent to jail for offending the beliefs
of religious believers.