A rapper who attended a celebrity party in Moscow wearing only a sock covering his penis was sentenced to 15 days in prison, while other attendees at the celebration last week, including some of Moscow’s best-known artists Russia, saw their sponsors break their contracts. with them, amid reports that the country’s president, Vladimir Putin, has expressed his displeasure with these events.
Convicted rapper Nikolai Vasiliev, known as Vacio, must also pay a fine of around 2,000 euros for promoting “non-traditional sexual relations”. Other celebrities at the party had their lucrative concerts and spots on state television canceled. Several sponsors terminated their contracts and one of the participants was dropped from being cast in a film.
This unusually rapid and forceful reaction from Russian authorities comes in the midst of the war against Ukraine and as the authorities promote an increasingly conservative social agenda. A video in which Putin’s spokesperson listens to the explanations of one of the stars present at the party is circulating on the Internet.
Active, A media outlet known for its contacts with security services claimed that Russian troops fighting in Ukraine were the first to complain after seeing the footage and after photographs of the party reached Putin.
The Russian president’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, asked journalists on Wednesday to forgive him for not publicly commenting on the growing scandal, saying: “Let you and I be the only ones in the country who do not discuss this issue “.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said the event had “tainted” those who participated, but that they now had the opportunity to work on themselves, according to the media outlet. Ura.ru.
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The fierce reaction from authorities, pro-Kremlin lawmakers, bloggers, state media and Orthodox Church groups has dominated headlines in recent days. This news even relegated those linked to inflation and the rise in the price of a basic food like eggs.
Apologies from participants
The party, organized on the 21st at the Mutabor nightclub in Moscow and to which participants could go “almost naked”, was organized by blogger Anastasia. Nastya Ivleeva. Participating were well-known singers who had been regulars on state television entertainment programs for years, sporting varying degrees of nudity. Ivleeva herself, one of Russia’s best-known bloggers, attended with jewelry worth almost 230,000 euros in rubles, at a time when many citizens cannot make ends meet.
The blogger has since released two public videos in which she apologizes for what happened.. In the second, published Wednesday, he said he regretted his actions and deserved everything that happened to him, but hoped he would be given “a second chance.”
Since then, the main Russian mobile operator, MTS, has broken the advertising contract it had with him, the Treasury has opened an investigation against him which could lead to five years in prison and a Moscow court has accepted the trial of a group. of individuals who are demanding payment of nearly 10 million euros for having caused “moral suffering”. If the lawsuit is successful, they want the money to go to a state fund that supports Ukrainian veterans.
“Celebrating this type of event at a time when our children are dying in a special military operation (the official Russian name for the war in Ukraine) and many children are losing their parents is cynical,” said Yekaterina Mizulina , director of the Russian League. for a Safe Internet, an organization founded with the support of the authorities. “Our soldiers on the front are definitely not fighting for this,” Mizulina concluded.
Many famous party participants have released apology videos, including journalist Ksenia Sobchak, whose late father, Anatoly, was a friend and even a boss of Putin.
The scandal comes at a time when Putin, who is expected to comfortably win another term in elections scheduled for March, has doubled down on his social conservatism, urging families to have eight or more children, and after Russia’s Supreme Court ruled that LGBTI activists should be called “extremists”.