A Russian blogger has been fined for dancing to reggaeton music in front of a World War II monument under a new law banning “disrespect” of the authorities.
The blogger, identified as “A. Chervyakova,” posted an Instagram video showing her dance at the Burial Mound of Immortality in April, court documents in the western Russian city of Bryansk said. Officials claimed the blogger had violated a law signed a month before she filmed the video that bans disrespect of the authorities and state symbols.
The city’s district court found that Chernyakova had “insulted human dignity and public morality and showed a clear lack of respect for society,” ordering her to pay a fine of 30,000 rubles ($475). The monument is one of the region's cultural heritage sites, it added.
The blogger, whose hobby is dancing, said she decided to film the dance at the monument because it provided a pretty backdrop and that she had not "intend[ed] to insult the victims of World War II."
Human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov, who flagged the late-May court ruling on Wednesday, quipped that “Bryansk police and courts have opened a new portal to supernatural law.”
Meanwhile, the Kremlin has reportedly instructed law enforcement officials to stop prosecuting people en masse under the new law. Police were told that only those who offend the presidency, legislature and the judiciary as institutions can be held accountable, the Dozhd TV news channel cited sources close to the Kremlin as saying.
Even insults targeting President Vladimir Putin as a person do not fall under the “disrespect” law, the outlet reported.