Dostoevsky Underground

A Moscow subway station that opened this summer commemorating the memory of Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky has come under fire from psychologists who claim the dark, violent murals depicting scenes from famous Dostoevsky works could induce suicides. Artist Ivan Nikolayev created the murals that surround the subway platform of the Dostoevskaya station. “My task was to draw out the meaning, creativity and entire life of Dostoevsky,” said Nikolayev. One of the paintings depicts Raskolnikov, the central character of Dostoevsky’s book Crime and Punishment, wielding an ax over a woman’s head while a corpse lies on the ground next to her. Mikhail Vinogradov, who heads a psychological help center in Moscow, expressed concern that these images can trigger violent behavior. “There will be suicides more often,” said Vinogradov. “I can't rule out people will commit murders or attacks.” Moscow psychologist Natalia Semyonova, however, defended the works, claiming they help us “understand once more the motives of human behavior, the motives of human suffering, how to overcome, how to find a sense of life, and so on.”