Support The Moscow Times!

Moscow Metro Coronavirus Prankster Faces Prison Time

While the coronavirus outbreak has infected tens of thousands and killed more than 900 worldwide, only two infections have been confirmed within Russia. Yuri Smityuk / TASS

Police in Moscow have detained a prankster over a video showing imitated coronavirus seizures on a crowded metro car, authorities told Interfax on Monday.

A video attributed to blogger “Kara.prank” depicted a passenger in a face mask collapsing and convulsing as fellow passengers scrambled out of the wagon at the next stop. The video disappeared from the user’s social media accounts by Monday.

Police spokeswoman Irina Volk told Interfax that the prank was filmed on Feb. 2.

“One of the suspected hooligans was detained. We’re searching for accomplices,” she was quoted as saying.

The suspect, who was not identified by name, faces up to five years in prison on criminal charges of hooliganism. Media reports identified him as blogger Karomat Dzhaborov.

On Sunday, the Instagram user “Kara.prank” said he was being held inside a metro police station and called on his followers for support.

“They want to jail me,” he wrote Sunday.

On Friday, the Moscow metro said it asked authorities to find other pranksters after media reports said two people wearing yellow hazmat suits had paraded coughing Asian passengers through a train carriage.

While the coronavirus outbreak has infected tens of thousands and killed more than 900 worldwide, only two infections have been confirmed within Russia.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

The Moscow Times’ team of journalists has been first with the big stories on the coronavirus crisis in Russia since day one. Our exclusives and on-the-ground reporting are being read and shared by many high-profile journalists.

We wouldn’t be able to produce this crucial journalism without the support of our loyal readers. Please consider making a donation to The Moscow Times to help us continue covering this historic time in the world’s largest country.