Russian authorities just keep stretching and stretching the meaning of extremism. Now the list of extremists will include a variety of youth subcultures extending from skinheads to fans of the iconic Soviet rock band Kino. This is according to a report released by the St. Petersburg Prosecutor’s Office which places music fans under police surveillance. Reports the St. Petersburg Times:
According to the report, the district’s criminal police have identified and included on a register “88 people who attribute themselves to informal entities such as ‘Skinheads,’ ‘Aggressive Football Fans,’ ‘Punks,’ ‘Emos,’ ‘Black Metallers,’ ‘Fans of [the band] Kino,’ ‘Alternative Rock Fans,’ ‘Anarchists’ and others.”
Kino was a local 1980s pop-rock band influenced by The Cure and Duran Duran, and is still popular with young people in Russia, though it split up when its frontman and sole songwriter Viktor Tsoi died in a car crash in 1991. Plans to erect an official monument to Tsoi are underway in the city.
The report said that apart from the criminal police, “this work” is also conducted by neighborhood police inspectors and juvenile police departments.
Once exposed and registered, the music fans and members of the other “informal entities” are the subject of “preventive work” conducted by the district’s police officers, the district’s administration officials and educational institution staff to “prevent crimes, including those of an extremist nature.”
Wonderful. But far from anything new. A list of “ideologically harmful” music was concocted by the Komsomol in the 1980s. It didn’t work then and it sure as hell isn’t going to work now. One would think the St. Petersburg police have better things to do with their time.
And they say punk is dead. Nah, it’s just under police surveillance.