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Russian Blogger Charged With ‘Rehabilitating Nazism’ for WWII Monument Tickling Video

Blogger Alyona Agafonova seen apologizing for her Instagram video. volgograd.sledcom.ru

Russian investigators said Friday they have detained a blogger on charges of “rehabilitating Nazism” after she posted an Instagram video in which she pretends to tickle a World War II monument.

Investigators initially opened a criminal case against 23-year-old Alyona Agafonova in July, accusing her of “cynical and immoral acts” toward the Motherland Calls monument in the southern city of Volgograd.

The video, in which Agafonova films herself wiggling her finger in front of the statue’s breasts, attracted attention in Russia after being reposted by pro-Kremlin bloggers.

The Volgograd region branch of Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said Friday that an arrest warrant had been issued for Agafonova after she left Russia. 

She was detained at a Moscow airport after returning on Thursday, the law enforcement body said.

A video posted along with the Investigative Committee’s statement showed Agafonova, her face blurred, apologizing on camera for her actions and urging other Russians against committing similar acts.

She had already expressed “deep apologies” in July for having offended people.

Agafonova was charged with rehabilitation of Nazism, which carries up to five years in prison.

The controversial law criminalizing propaganda or rehabilitation of Nazism was signed by President Vladimir Putin in May 2014, and it has since then raised concerns among civil rights experts due to its vagueness.

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