An official in central Russia has resigned after her son’s disturbing social media posts triggered a high-profile scandal and police involvement, media reported Thursday.
The republic of Chuvashia’s digital development minister Kristina Maynina was summoned for questioning after her son’s classmates noticed his social media posts and perceived them as a threat to shoot up the school, the independent Mediazona news site reported.
“The reason was the 10th-grader’s videos on Telegram in which he ate raw meat in the woods and bit off the head of a live frog,” the outlet wrote, referring to a messaging app popular in Russia.
“The schoolboy wrote that he ‘washed’ himself with blood and was going to ‘do something soon’,” Mediazona said, adding that his classmates’ parents stopped letting their children attend school afterward.
Law enforcement bodies searched the teen’s room, where they confiscated a mug and silverware with swastika engravings as well as a book by controversial nationalist writer Eduard Limonov.
Maynina’s son, identified by his first name Robert, restricted access to his Telegram channel last week following a wave of outrage.
Some students defended Robert, Mediazona reported, saying his posts were wrongly interpreted as a threat.
Maynina announced Thursday she was stepping down but urged social media users to stop harassing her son, saying he had merely “wanted to attract attention” and wasn't planning to commit a crime.
“I assure anyone who was frightened by my son’s strange behavior that it was done without malice,” she wrote in a Telegram post Thursday.
The republic of Chuvashia's Governor Oleg Nikolayev praised Maynina’s decision for the sake of “preserving the reputation of the Chuvash government team.”
Russia has been shaken by a series of deadly school shootings in recent years following a period of relative calm. Authorities have blamed foreign influence on young Russians for the school shootings.