Watch This Russian Dissident Flawlessly Play the Piano as Police Wait to Arrest Her

Anastasia Vasilyeva, an ally of Russian opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny, was detained by police, but not before she'd finished playing Beethoven.
January 28, 2021, 2:19pm
Watch This Russian Dissident Flawlessly Play the Piano As Police Wait To Arrest Her
Anastasia Vasilyeva. Photo: Twitter / @exCheremnova and Yevgeny Sofiychuk\TASS via Getty Images

Form is temporary, class is permanent, and Russian doctor Anastasia Vasilyeva oozes class.

When police raided her house as part of a round-up of supporters of arch-Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, she continued to play the piano, hitting every note and not stopping until she had finished, even as a cop pressed papers upon her.

Vasilyeva, the head of the Alliance of Doctors trade union, made international news in the early days of the pandemic by posting YouTube videos warning that Russian doctors were working without the correct PPE, something that also led to her arrest.

She has now been detained for 48 hours, according to state news agency TASS, accused of violating coronavirus-related restrictions during recent protests in Moscow alongside other key Navalny allies, including his brother Oleg.


Demonstrations took place across Russia last weekend in protest at the detention of Navalny, who was arrested upon his return to Russia earlier this month and jailed for 30 days for violating parole over a prior suspended sentence. Critics say the initial sentence, and fresh jail term are politically motivated.

Navalny is the most high-profile critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who appears to be rattled by Navalny’s return home, after he spent five months recovering in Germany from a suspected nerve agent attack.

Navalny, backed up by a team of investigative journalists, has blamed Putin for ordering the assassination attempt – something the Kremlin denies.

Navalny’s team has also put out a video report into the opulent palace where Putin has been hiding out during the pandemic, which has racked up almost 100 million views on YouTube.

On Thursday Navalny’s appeal against his 30-day sentence was heard via video-link and immediately rejected.