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Russia Probes Stand-Up Comedians for Mocking Pro-War Blogger’s Assassination

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Russian law enforcement authorities on Wednesday said they will probe a stand-up skit by two popular Russian comedians that mocked a recent bombing attack that killed a prominent pro-war blogger.

Stand-up comedian Garik Oganesyan was gifted a statuette onstage by fellow comic Sasha Kapadya during a performance in Berlin. 

It appeared to reference the figurine gifted to pro-war correspondent Vladlen Tatarsky at an event on Sunday that contained an explosive device that killed him and injured about 40 others. 

“Is this really a statuette? Thank you very much…may it just stand right here,” Oganesyan can be seen saying in a video of the skit, eliciting laughs from the audience. 

Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin on Wednesday ordered an inquiry into the skit, the law-enforcement body responsible for probing major crimes said in a statement.

The Investigative Committee’s announcement came after State Duma Deputy Yana Lantratova and head of the Kremlin-aligned Free Internet League Yekaterina Mizulina called on the agency to investigate the joke.

“I believe it is a disgusting joke…I would be curious to see what would happen with them if they filmed a stand-up like this about 9/11 in the U.S.,” Mizulina wrote on Telegram Wednesday. 

Deputy Lantratova called the stand-up skit a “crime” of joking about “a human tragedy.”

“People are longing for quick fame made with blood. Society must respond,” she wrote

Tatarsky's assassination took place during an event at a St. Petersburg venue popular with Russian pro-war activists. 

Russian authorities detained 26-year-old St. Petersburg resident Daria Trepova in connection with the explosion and claim that the attack was orchestrated by supporters of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and Ukrainian fighters.

Both Navalny’s foundation and a top Ukrainian official have denied the claims.

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