Students of St. Petersburg music school Violetta Mikhailova and Lyubov Startseva were detained for playing harp and domra on the Manege Square in Moscow.
One of the girls was not accepted into a music school in Moscow, and she needed to raise some money for a return ticket to St. Petersburg. So, as many musicians in the world do, they decided to play harp and domra on the street.
After some time, police arrived at the Manege Square, and took the girls to the police station of Kitay-gorod. Musical instruments were seized, and a report on administrative offense for organizing a mass event in a public place was filed (art. 20.2.2 of the Administrative Code). Afterwards, the will be brought into court on August 10: they face a fine of up to 10,000 rubles (approx. $150 – RRT).
Musicians did not expect such consequences:
“It is such an absurd. We agree that we might have violated something. But we did not do anything bad. I do not understand what is happening in the country: drunks get a fine of 500 rubles (approx. $7-8 – RRT), while harmless girls – much worse. Does it make any sense at all?”