In Ust-Kut, an event was canceled, where residents of the city could look at the moon through a telescope. One of the organizers explained this by the requirement of the FSB
The administration of the city of Ust-Kut in the Irkutsk region has withdrawn permission to hold the World Night of Sidewalk Astronomy 2021 in the city. Alexei Tupitsyn, director of the non-profit organization Civic Assistance Center, which was the co-organizer of the event , told Sibir.Realii about this .
According to Tupitsyn, on March 20 – the day before the event – the acting head of the Ust-Kut administration Yevgeny Koksharov sent him a voice message. The message said that there was no need to hold the “World Night of Sidewalk Astronomy”.
In a telephone conversation, the official explained the refusal by pressure from the local FSB and the fear that “propaganda” materials would be handed out at the event, Tupitsyn said. He added that the formal reason for the refusal was the application for the event in less than 10 days.
According to Tupitsyn, after talking with Koksharov, he called the deputy head of the city department of the FSB, Ivan Sanin. He said that the department had nothing to do with banning the event.
In Ust-Kut, where there is no public telescope, the Civic Assistance Center planned to install two of its own telescopes on a dedicated site, one of which was purchased specifically for this project.SIBERIA.REALITIES
The founder of modern pavement astronomy is considered the American amateur astronomer John Dobson, who in the 1960s began to take his telescope out into the streets and invite passers-by to look into it. World Pavement Astronomy Night is held annually after the vernal equinox.
“World Night of Sidewalk Astronomy 2021” was to be held on the evening of March 21 in 14 settlements of the Irkutsk Region and the Trans-Baikal Territory, including Ust-Kut. The event was organized by the Irkutsk Planetarium and the Irkutsk Regional Astronomical Society.