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    Radical Russian art group donates Banksy money to political prisoners

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    The controversial Russian art collective Voina (War) said on Tuesday it gave part of the money donated to them by British graffiti artist Banksy to political prisoners.

    The controversial Russian art collective Voina (War) said on Tuesday it gave part of the money donated to them by British graffiti artist Banksy to political prisoners.

    Earlier this month, two of Voina's members, Leonid Nikolayev - a.k.a. Lyonya F**king Crazy - and Oleg Vorotnikov, were released from custody after nearly four months awaiting trial for a stunt involving overturning police cars in St Petersburg.

    Banksy paid 300,000 rubles ($10,600) bail for each of them after earlier donating almost $130,000 to the group from a print sale.

    "First of all, we used Banksy's money to help our political prisoner friends," Vorotnikov told reporters in St. Petersburg, without specifying the amount.

    He said the group had paid for lawyers for opposition activist Taisiya Osipova and anti-fascist activist Renat Sultanov.

    On their way home after a press conference on March 3, Nikolayev and Vorotnikov were beaten by seven thugs claiming to be police officers. Vorotnikov's wife Natalia Sokol and two-year-old son, Casper, were also caught up in the attack.

    Voina is notorious for holding an orgy in a Moscow museum to mark the 2008 inauguration of President Dmitry Medvedev and painting a 65-meter phallus on a drawbridge opposite the St. Petersburg headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB,) successors of the KGB.

     

    ST. PETERSBURG, March 22 (RIA Novosti)

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