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Natalia Sokol

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Nationality  Russian
Known for  Voina
Name  Natalia Sokol
Spouse(s)  Oleg Vorotnikov
Other names  Koza, Kozlionok

Natalia Sokol imgfotkiyandexruget442612221546614073f6c

Born  June 3 1980Balakovo, Soviet Union
Education  PhD of Physics in the Lomonosov Moscow State University

daylight in urban texture by natalia sokol

Natalia Sokol aka Koza is the leader of the Russian highly political art-group Voina.


Natalia Sokol Natalia Sokol Wikipedia

Life and work

Natalia Sokol Protest Against the International Warrant Issued for Natalia Sokol

Natalia Sokol and her husband Oleg Vorotnikov are founding members of Voina, the most famous political artist group in Russia.

Since their formation in 2005 Voina have hit the headlines with their agitation in public space and their open critique against the Putin regime. Sokol has dedicated her life to art and has achieved good media coverage to point out the deplorable state of affairs in the corrupt state.

Natalia Sokol, better known by her artistic name Koza, is the author, as well as the coordinator and performer of the Voina works — the highest picks of Russian Actionism, such as: Mordovian Hour, 2007, Throwing Cats in McDonald's; Fuck for the Heir Puppy Bear, 2008, Pre-Election Orgie in Biological Museum; Cop in a Priest's Robe, 2008, 21st Century Russian Hero Gets Food for the Comrades by Robbing a Supermarket; Decembrists Commemoration, 2008, Voina Сelebrates Moscow City Day by Executing through Hanging Two Homosexuals and Three Illegal Migrant Workers inside the City's Biggest Mall; Storming the White House, 2008, Voina Troop Takes the Russian Parliament under the Skull and Bones Laser Drawing; Cock in the Ass, 2009, Punk Concert in the Court; Leo the Fucknut is Our President!, 2010, Blue Bucket Attack on President's Guard Limousine; Dick Captured by KGB, 2010, Giant Dick on Bridge; Palace Revolution, 2010, Reformation of the Ministry of Police by Playing Football with a Child and many others.

While Koza became an inspiring and iconic role model for artists and activists in Russia, the Russian police and special forces treated her repeatedly with attacks, beatings and arrests:

On November 15, 2010 the police from St.-Petersburg Investigative Committee broke into the Moscow apartment where Natalia Sokol has been living with her family and, without charge, illegally confiscated, and in fact stole all her documents, as well as cash allowance for childcare. In addition, the computers were stolen and other means of electronic communication. Oleg, Natalia's husband, was arrested and transported to St. Petersburg. Natalia with her one-year-old son Kasper was left on the streets without any support. Being without documents in the Russian Federation means a lack of medical care, public transport, voting right and so on. The famous Russian writer Vladimir Adolfych described her situation like this: "In Russia, even the sun does not rise without a passport."

On March 3, 2011 Natalia Sokol was beaten up by the anti-extremism police squad on the streets after a public lecture. They broke her camera and injured her child and other activists.

On March 31, 2011 Kasper, the son of Natalia Sokol was kidnapped during a demonstration on the street in the centre of St. Petersburg by the Russian riot police. Trying to save their son, the parents were arrested. Kasper had disappeared. Later his parents found out that the police had brought him in the City Children's Hospital where they had categorized him as "unidentified child". The family reunited shortly after Sokol had managed to escape from the police van on its way to the court. Obviously this incident was viewed as another provocation against the Russian police. Another criminal case against Sokol was opened in which she was accused for things she had not done, e.g. assaulting and insulting police officers. She was then pressured and threatened by the Russian law with both forced labour and imprisonment. This was announced in a Russian wide criminal investigation. Sokol was arrested in absence, while the Russian police spread out the news through media that Sokol was also declared an internationally wanted criminal searched by Interpol.

In the night of October 18, 2011 Sokol on her 7th months of pregnancy together with her 2-year-old son Kasper were arrested after the meeting with German TV-channel ARD. Spending the night behind bars they escaped and since then were obliged to get into a powerless existence in the underground.

In December 2011 the Dzerzhinsky District Court in St. Petersberug decided to issue an arrest warrant for Natalia Sokol. Voina claimed that Natalia Sokol has been charged with insulting and using violence against police officers (articles 319 and 318 of the Criminal Code). The charges were first revealed to the defense during a court session on December 6, 2011, and she has been a federally wanted person since November, and she was declared internationally wanted.Her attorney expressed his indignation, saying Natalia's right to a legal defense was blatantly violated by the Investigation Committee's failure to inform her of the charges brough against her. He also denied investigator Rud's claims that Natalia had missed her appointments with the investigator on multiple occasions. However, the judge sided with the investigators to arrest Natalia Sokol in absentia.

At that time Sokol, who was pregnant with her second child, consulted a specialized medical facility "Women Consultant", where she sought for medical help. Instead the doctors called the police. Ways to legal birth were cut off. Mama, the daughter of Sokol was born in hiding. The parents were not able to register the birth of their second child. Legally Mama does not exist. She is now in the sixth year of living without documents.

At 2012 Natalia together with other leaders of Voina was announced as an associated curator of Berlin Biennale.

Sokol studied Molecular Physics in the Lomonosov Moscow State University. She finished with a PHD on "Optical Properties of Protein Solutions Containing Heavy Metal Ions" in 2006. She then began working at the Department of Molecular Physics, Faculty of Physics, MSU, planning to continue her research work in relation to the fight against blood cancer. As she was a member of Voina already, this career was not compatible with the State University objectives. April 17, 2012 she was illegally, in violation of Russian law, fired from MSU at the time of leave to care for a second newborn baby Mama.

On April 28, 2015 Natalia Sokol announced in Switzerland, on occasion of a public event in Zürich, to ask for political asylum, claiming that her husband and her children aged four and six are still in Russia.

She managed to arrive in Switzerland only on the 9th month of her 3rd pregnancy. However, Natalia came separately. Her two kids, Kasper (6 years) and Mama (3 years), as well as her husband, co-founder of Voina Oleg Vorotnikov, are unable to join her to come here legally, due to the fact that they still live without documents. Oleg Vorotnikov is among wanted persons in the Interpol list since November 2011.

March 20, 2016 Natalia Sokol, Oleg Vorotnikov and their 3 small kids Kasper (6 yo), Mama (4 yo) and Troitsa (10 months old) were attacked by an armed mob of 20 people in their apartment in Basel . The perpetrators broke the door to family’s apartment, attacked parents and kids with tear gas and kidnapped naked kids while they were taking bath . Then the perpetrators fixed Oleg's hands and legs with scotch tape and started to strangle him. After they blocked Oleg, the father of kids, they attacked Natalia, the mother of kids, and horribly beat her with wood sticks. The attackers robbed Voina’s laptops and hard drives with the artistic and science archives and ipads of kids . Natalia managed to escape to the street and call the police. After the police came the officers let all the perpetrators go, no one was arrested. Later on Natalia found her kids left naked on the street .

Recently the Basel prosecutor office opened a criminal case against Natalia Sokol and Oleg Vorotnikov for their attempts to attract attention of the media to what happened to family in Basel, Switzerland, March 20, 2016 .

The official prosecution to identified perpetrators who attacked Voina family at March 20, 2016 are multiple kidnapping, deprivation of liberty, repeated attempts to endanger life, multiple coercion, physical assault, multiple attempts to inflict serious bodily injury, robbery, intentional appropriation of property, multiple material damage, violation of inviolability of home, trespassing, multiple violence and threat to authorities and officials public order disturbance .

Vorotnikov stated (in an interview with Radio Free Europe) that the family wanted to return Russia but worries about the fate of their three children prevented this.


Natalia Sokol Wikipedia