The Sitting Rus charitable foundation for helping convicts and their families, entered in the register of non-profit organizations – “foreign agents”, received a warning from the Ministry of Justice for the image of a two-headed eagle on the organization’s logo. About it reported Kommersant.
The department found that the two-headed eagle with shackles and a club in its paws, personifying both a prisoner and a warden, insults the state symbol – the coat of arms of Russia. The Ministry of Justice demanded that the logo be abandoned, otherwise “Sitting Russia” would face liquidation “in court”.
In turn, the foundation believes that Russia does not have a monopoly on the use of the image of the two-headed eagle, which symbolizes state power in many countries. The organization went to court. The administrative lawsuit began to be considered by the Gagarinsky Court of Moscow yesterday, September 13.
“Russia Sitting” received the opinion of Andrey Zorin, Doctor of Philology and Professor of Oxford University, which was admitted by the court. He interpreted the foundation’s logo as “performative” – a statement that “gains meaning only within the framework of a certain action or ritual.”
“Giving an object the status of a state symbol refers precisely to this type of visual expression. Neither the artist who uses the elements of the coat of arms in a work of art, nor the student who draws the image of the coat of arms creates state symbols, ”the expert noted.
According to Olga Podoplelova, the head of the legal department of the foundation, the Ministry of Justice issued a warning to the organization in March about “signs of desecration” over the Russian coat of arms. Then the department threatened “Russia sitting” with a fine under Art. 19.5 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation for failure to comply with a legal order of a government agency (up to 20 thousand rubles).
The two-headed eagle with shackles and a club was portrayed by the cartoonist Alexei Merinov back in April 1998 for the article “Andrei Klimentyev – the future president of Russia” in Moskovsky Komsomolets. Andrei Klimentyev, whom President Yeltsin’s administration saw as a candidate for the role of national leader, was arrested three days after taking office as mayor of Nizhny Novgorod. He was sentenced to six years for embezzlement. This was the politician’s third conviction. In 2015, Merinov suggested that Sitting Russia should take its own drawing as a logo.