Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Sakha Shaman Says He’ll Soon Begin a New March on Moscow

Paul Goble

            Staunton, January 13 – Aleksandr Gabyshev, the shaman from Sakha who attracted international attention when he began his march toward Moscow last year to exorcise Vladimir Putin whom he describes as “a demon” before he was forcibly returned to his home republic, now says he will resume his march soon, despite court orders not to leave home.

            In a YouTube clip addressed to his followers, Gabyshev says that he will ignore the court orders because “I am under only the law of God. He said I was to go in March and that means I will go in that month.” He was not more specific ( and

            If he leaves home in March, it will be exactly a year after he first announced plans to exorcise Putin from Russia and began his march on Moscow. Over the next six months, he covered some 3,000 kilometers before being detained by the FSB and forcibly returned to Yakutsk.

            There he was confined in a psychiatric hospital and judged legally incompetent. The shaman was then charged with calls for extremist activity but released on his own recognizance. That did not prevent him from resuming his march in December 2019. But he was detained almost immediately by the FSB.

            Amnesty International has declared him a prisoner of conscience, but both the shamanistic community in Russia and Russians more generally remain deeply divided on his status, with some viewing him as a genuine shaman who is acting for God and others dismissing him as a publicity hound.

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