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Russian Blogger Gets 10 Months Correctional Labor for Statue Tickling Video

Alyona Agafonova in court. Volgograd region court system.

A Russian blogger has been sentenced to 10 months of correctional labor for “rehabilitating Nazism” in an Instagram video where she pretends to tickle a World War II monument.

Authorities detained Alyona Agafonova in February, months after pro-Kremlin bloggers drew attention to a video in which she recorded herself wiggling her finger in front of the Motherland Calls statue’s breasts in the city of Volgograd.

On Friday, the Volgograd Regional Court found the young woman guilty of “rehabilitating Nazism,” according to a statement on the regional court system’s Telegram channel.

The judge sentenced Agafonova to 10 months of correctional labor, while also ordering 10% of her monthly income to be garnished for the state budget and banning her from posting anything publicly online for two years. The maximum punishment was rehabilitating Nazism is five years in prison.

Agafonova was released from police custody pending the sentence’s entry into force or its appeal. 

President Vladimir Putin signed the controversial law that criminalizes propaganda or the rehabilitation of Nazism in May 2014, raising concerns among civil rights experts due to its vagueness.

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