One day after being detained in Yekaterinburg, Russia for violating the country’s visa regulations, Polish extreme metallers BEHEMOTH have been ordered to leave the country. The band’s concert in the city was canceled and the musicians spent the night in jail.
Znak.com, a news and opinion website run by Aksana Panova, a long-time critic of the local authorities, spoke with BEHEMOTH frontman Adam “Nergal” Darski, who stated about the conditions of the jail: “It was a very small room and the walls were smeared with feces. At night, we asked to be taken to the toilet but our request was denied for some reason. So we had to use plastic bottles instead.”
Regarding the allegations that the band had entered Russia with improper visas, Darski said: “We received the visas at the Russian consulate in Warsaw. When we asked how to fill out the paperwork, we were told that it was necessary to obtain a business visa. We did everything we were told. Now it turned out that it was necessary to get some kind of a ‘humanitarian’ visa, not a business one.”
A humanitarian visa is required visitors wishing to enter Russia for cultural purposes, science, sports, religion, etc. A humanitarian visa can be valid for up to 90 days and can be issued for single or double entry. It can also be issued for multiple entries and can be valid for up to one year.
The BEHEMOTH members appeared in court earlier today (Thursday, May 22) and were told to leave the country “within a reasonable time.” They were also fined 2,000 rubles ($60) each.
In the Znak.com interview, Nergal said BEHEMOTH was unlikely to continue its “Russian Satanist” tour of Russia, which kicked off on May 10 and was scheduled to run through May 28. The musicians were expected to go back to their hotel and make their way back to Poland shortly thereafter.
Darski expressed hope that BEHEMOTH would be able to return to Russia at a later date.
A Russian video report can be seen below.