GALINA BORISOVA, Catholic Church (Moscow, Russia)

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Galina Borisova

Before the Mass, on 3 July 2022, retired actress Galina Borisova, a parishioner of the Moscow Roman Catholic church of St Louis, attached an anti-war leaflet to the Russian flag hanging in the altar. It contained «No bellum» (No war) written in Latin and «The flag of the aggressor country has no place next to the flag of the Holy See» — in Russian. According to Borisova, the leaflet hung for about five minutes and only one nun saw it. Sr Magdalina Filatova claimed that about fifty parishioners saw it, and she herself tore off the leaflet and threw it away. The church is located opposite the FSB HQ in Lubyanka.

On 20 July, the police arrived at Borisova’s home. She was taken to the police department of the Krasnoselsky district where a protocol was drawn up against her under part 1 of article 20.3.3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses. The leaflet was interpreted as a «public action» «aimed at discrediting the use of the armed forces […] for protection of the interests of the Russian Federation and its citizens.» The torn-up and glued-back-together leaflet was attached to the case file as material evidence. The OVD-Info Telegram channel reported that presumably Borisova was denounced by St Louis’ rector, Fr Vyacheslav Gorokhov, which resulted in the police report. However, Borisova deniedthis; she argued that the priest was forced to write a statement against her after she was identified from CCTV recordings, and the rector tried to annul his denunciation.

The Norwegian human rights organization, Forum-18, reported on 1 August that the case against Borisova was registered in the Meshchansky district court of Moscow.