Video footage of the incident shows physical force used against club staff and partygoers.
Video footage has surfaced of the raid, which took place just before 8 AM on Sunday, August 6th. The footage shows physical force being used against partygoers and staff, including one of the club's cofounders being kicked as he lay on the ground.
According to a Resident Advisor source, several men in plain clothes entered Rabitza and began to detain visitors and club staff. At the same time, policemen, wearing helmets and body armour and armed with batons, also entered the venue. Around eight members of staff, including security, were taken into custody, with two charged. One of the club's cofounders, Ivan Radzievsky, was among those charged. (Radzievsky was charged for drug offences—he's since been released but has been told he can't leave Moscow.) At least ten partygoers were also taken into custody, but they have since been freed.
"I haven't seen such violence before in my music and club experience in Moscow," one person told RA.
Rabitza, a techno-focused club that has hosted artists like Ryan Elliott, Ron Morelli, Legowelt and Andrew James Gustav in 2017, was targeted by Moscow authorities about one month ago. On that occasion, it was a planned inspection, with police introducing themselves upon entry.
The club has appealed via its Facebook page for donations to go towards its fight to remain open. "We are compelled to defend ourselves and we ask for help from everyone who cares about the fate of the club," the statement reads. "The collected funds will go to court hearings of the incident." The club says it'll make a more detailed public statement on the incident soon.
Festivals and clubs in Russia have faced difficulties with local authorities. The 2016 edition of Outline Festival was cancelled for reasons that were disputed by the event's organisers.