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Miss Crimea Fined for Singing Patriotic Ukrainian Song

Olga Valeyeva. Olga Valeyeva / instagram

Russian authorities have fined the winner of this year's Miss Crimea beauty pageant, Olga Valeyeva, after video emerged of her singing a patriotic Ukrainian song, the state-run TASS news agency reported.

Valeyeva appeared alongside a friend in a video posted to Instagram singing "Chervona Kalyna," a song that has become an anthem of Ukrainian resistance since the Kremlin invaded its pro-Western neighbor in February.

Both women were charged with "discrediting" the Russian armed forces and "promoting extremist symbols." Valeyeva, who has young children, was fined 40,000 rubles ($677), while her friend was sentenced to 10 days in prison.

A video posted on the Crimean Interior Ministry's Telegram channel Monday showed the women apologizing for singing the song.

The case is not the first of its kind in Russian-controlled Crimea, where Kremlin-appointed regional head Sergei Aksyonov, has warned people against "chanting pro-Ukrainian slogans" and "singing nationalist songs."

Last month, six people were arrested or fined for playing "Chervona Kalyna" at a wedding reception on the peninsula.

Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, in a move that has not been recognized by the international community.

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