Serbia Protests: 3 Ways of Looking at the Protests

I’ve been covering the Serbia protests for 3 days here now, in Belgrade. In that time, I’ve heard a lot said about protests, from all sides. That they are the ‘new Euromaidan’ , that ‘Soros is funding them’ (though given that Serbia already has a pro-EU, pro-US president, hard to see what his motive would be).

I’m covering the protests just as they are – interviews, numbers, facts. Follow me on Twitter for all of this. 

As we get set for Day 10 here, a look at the protesters, on Day 9 of protests.

GoPro footage:

360 Degree footage:

Stay tuned for further developments.

St Petersburg Metro Terror Attack: Who Were the Victims?


Tragic news today, as it was announced that one of the victims, wounded in the 3rd April Metro attack in St Petersburg had passed away in hospital, taking the death toll to 14 now, with it only yesterday having been announced that all 13 victims of the blast had been laid to rest. 

However, little attention in the western media has been given to any of the victims, those killed by the terror metro blast. So, here is who they were.

48-year-old Irina Medyantseva was on the Metro with her daughter, 28-year-old Elena. Irina was a master doll and puppet maker, making figures with fairy-tale faces from cloth and porcelain, teaching her daughter her profession, holding exhibitions together. She had lived in St Petersburg for 9 years.

St Petersburg Victim IrinaBelow is one of Irina’s final works, a doll called the ‘Giver of Joy’. She died in throwing herself to cover her daughter, who was wounded, but is maing a stable recovery. Irina died in the ambulance. Irina, described a ‘kind, gentle woman, and true artist‘ had a husband, and another daughter, Yulia. Here, her distraught husband, Alexander, speaks about his wife, and devastation on her loss.

Giver of JoyKsenia Malyukova, 18, was a student of St. Petersburg Obstetric College, in her third year, studying to be a doctor. Ksenia was returning from a practical in a children’s hospital, going to the centre to meet up with her boyfriend.

Ksenia St Petersburg

Kseniya was an only child, she lost her mother in 2008 to cancer. Her father is devastated, having for hours refused to believe it could be true. Friends remembered as as a ‘lovely girl, always ready to help, the soul of an angel’. Kseniya had danced all her life, and until injury stopped her in 2015, performed cheerleading, to a professional level.

St Petersburg victim Kseniya

Dilbar Aliyev, 20, born in Azerbaijan, but moved to St Petersburg as a child. She was a third year psychology student in St Petersburg. Described by friends as ‘like any girl of her age, she had big plans, she loved life. She was full of energy, blossoming, and looking to the future.’

Petersburg Dilbara

Here, Dilbar poses next to a sign which reads ‘You can take the girl of of St Petersburg, but not St Petersburg out of the girl.’ 

St Petersburg victim Dilbara

Denis Petrov, 25, a Master of Sports, champion in hand-to-hand fighting, trainer at the Warrior martial ars club. Colleagues, and students describe him as ‘in the prime of life, everything was ahead of him. An excellent person, and coach.’

Angelina Svistunova only turned 27 in February. She studied at the college of textile and light industry, in absentia, and was an animal lover.

She went online about fifteen minutes before the deadly blast, putting a status update on her Vkontakte wishing ‘all well!’.  In her final post, written around a week before the tragedy, she wrote thanking her parents for giving her life, giving her a beautiful name, a wonderful childhood, a wonderful youth, for always being there for her, always finding the right words, and being sincere. ‘Thank you for the love, care and attention – mum and dad, I love you very much, and pray to god for your health! I take a bow to you!’

Angelina’s parents are in deep shock at what happened to their daughter.

Mansour Sagadeev had turned 17 on March 27th. The young St Petersburg man had grown up in an active family, his father Tahir – a lover of ski walks, hiking, and rafting on the mountain rivers. In his spare time, Mansur himself liked to walk, play football, table tennis, and he even played the piano.

In 2015, Mansour began studying at the St. Petersburg College of Telecommunications at, University of Telecommunications. He studied in the second year, specializing in radio communications, broadcasting and television.

Mansour was remembered as a ‘dedicated student, a modest young man, always ready to help those around him.’

Larisa Shchekina, 67. Larisa, a grandmother, worked as an editor at the St. Petersburg Academy of Postgraduate Teacher Education, in the publishing of educational literature and manuals.

Larisa’s whole life was devoted to texts. In 1982, she graduated from the then Leningrad State University, Faculty of Journalism. Friends remember her as an ‘educated, kind, wonderful person’, while colleagues (Laris had worked as a journalist, and editor of many St Petersburg publications) tell of a professional, loyal, wise lady, a true St Peterburger. 

For her dedication to her profession, her home city and her work, Larisa Grigoryevna was awarded the medal “In memory of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg”.

Yuri Nalimov, 71. Yuri was born in 1945, 29 days after victory in World War Two. In his career, Yuri worked as an investigator, spending 24 years in the North-Western Affairs Office for Transport, also working as a senior officer at St Petersburg’s Pulkovo airport. On retirement, in 1996, Nalimov Yuri left with the rank of colonel of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In his years of public service, Yuri was awarded many medals, including one for ‘Excellent Service in the Ministry of Internal Affair’. In his retirement, Yuri, who friends rememberd as a ‘loyal, kind, honourable man’ enjoyed carving wood, making benches, tables, chairs by hand, and enjoying spending time with nature. He had a wife, and daughter.

Oksana Danilenko, 26. Oksana was described by friends as a ‘dreamer, a wonderful artist who dreamt of writing a book about the Victorian era, and even going to live in Japan.’ Oksana was a fan of computer games, and animals, and described by friends as a ‘cheerful girl, like a teenager’.

Oksana, who was travelling from her studies to work at the petshop ‘Goldfish’, did not die instantly in the blast.

Maria Nevmerzhitskaya, 53. Maria had come to Petersburg from the village of Krasnoozernoe, near Priozersk, in the Leningrad region of Russia, to say with relatives. Family members were shocked at her loss, paying tribute on social networks to a ‘kind lady who loved her family, and was always there for them.’

Yulia Krasikova, 25. Yulia was a graduate of  St Petersburg Economic University, with a top grade, however she never wanted to be an economist. Yulia always dreamed of being an artist, spending much of her time drawing, covering her walls with her creations.

Yulia was on the verge of realising her dreams, due to receive her diploma in design from the Polytechnic University. To fund her studies, she worked in her speciality, as an economist, at the company “Marine Navigation Systems”.

Friends describe Yulia as a ‘very talented, a kind, very sweet girl, always read to help.‘ Yulia was looking forward to marrying her long-term boyfriend, Alexander.

Dmitry Mazanov, 27. Dmitry lived in Tosno, Leningrad area, and was in St Petersburg for work, on April 3rd.

Dima, who completed military service in his early 20s, was remembered by friends as a ‘good guy, kind, cheerful’. He had a two-year-old daughter, with whom he loved to play.

Maxim Vitalievich, 20. Maxim was from Kazakhstan, and on April 3rd was returning home after finishing studies for that day at the St Petersburg State Economic University. At 14:40, a blast tore through the carriage he was in (Maxim was himself near the suicide bomber) ending a young life friends described as ‘full of potential, everything was ahead for Maxim.’ 

Friends remember a ‘positive young man with a radiant smile. He loved to joke, had a great sense of humour. He was always there for you. He loved life.’


*Details of the 14th victim still to emerge.
** Over 50 were wounded