Austrian musical metal group Belphegor arrived in St. Petersburg to perform a concert on April, 19. At the St. Petersburg’s airport Pulkovo the band was met by a middle-aged Russian man Anatoly Artyukh (Анатолий Артюх) who is a big fan of the Orthodox religion and reportedly also serves as aide to local parliament’s member Vitaly Milonov (see the picture above) known for his Medieval-style approach to religion and LGBT-issues. Finally, the concert was cancelled.
April 19 the city biggest news outlet Fontanka.ru reported controversial stories about the incident, with Artyukh sayig that he had been beaten by the band’s frontman Helmuth Lehner, and with Lehner saying that he had been dealt a blow by Artyukh. The former was reportedly unhappy with the band’s satanic style and songs and specially came to the airport to “welcome” the musicians.
Today, the Internet has seen a video of the incident.
As the filming shows, Artyukh aggressively asked Lehner what he had come for (in Russian, «Чо приперся?»), and afterwards spitted him in the face. Lehner, who seemed to be rather astonished, as well as other band’s members, pushed Artyukh back or pushed back himself, it’s not clear. Then this crazy Orthodox moved on to chase the band coming out of the airport terminal and tried to attack one more time, but was blocked by one of band’s member.
Anatoly Artyukh is aide to Viltaly Milonov, deputy of the Saint Petersburg parliament. Milonov is widely known as one of the biggest endorsers of the anti-gay law which caused outrage across Europe, a fighter against people and groups he finds satanic and something like that.
He tried to organize police raids against nudists’ beach, nights clubs and other establishments and events, for example, a Halloween celebration. And even the city police seems to be tired of him let alone the press and public. Milonov and Artyukh obviously need health screening, but unfortunately you can become a member of a Russian regional legislative body without close medical supervision.
As Milonov said in his comment with Zvezda TV channel on the incident, “It’s absolutely not interesting to see in St. Petersburg a frontman of a band which is singing ugly things about our country and our belief. If the Satanism is the freedom of speech for Europe, we don’t need such a Europe”.
St. Petersburg Travel Guide’s editorial would like to say to Mr Milonov, who is paid by Russian taxpayers, that his job is writing laws and voting in the parliament, not answering the questions on kind of Europe we need, the questions which nobody asked him. And spitting in the face is a step which must be condemned by any Orthodox, let alone avoiding to such ugly things.
Finally, the musicians decided not to perform in St. Petersburg, which unfortunately means that the satanic ideology of mad parliament member wins. But only for the moment, since St. Petersburg public prosecution office got many complaints from citizen about deputy aide’ improper behavior, so there is hope that Artukh will be charged with committing a public nuisance.