Russia jails pair for Red Square 'oral sex' pic

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Russia has jailed a pair for Red Square 'oral sex' pic.
Russia has jailed a pair for Red Square 'oral sex' pic.
  • Ruslani Murodzhonzoda and Anastasia Chistova were found guilty of offending the feelings of religious people.
  • The pair were detained in late September after he posted a picture showing Chistova kneeling in front of him near Saint Basil's Cathedral on Red Square.
  • In a statement, the court said the pair committed public actions expressing clear disrespect for society.


A Russian court on Friday sentenced a social media prankster and his girlfriend to 10 months in prison after he posted a picture on Instagram imitating oral sex near Red Square.

It was the latest crackdown on a minor transgression in Russia, where leader Vladimir Putin has pushed an increasingly conservative agenda.

Moscow's Tverskoi district court said Friday that Ruslani Murodzhonzoda - a Tajik national - and Anastasia Chistova were found guilty of offending the feelings of religious people.

"Anastasia Chistova and Ruslani Murodzhonzoda committed public actions expressing clear disrespect for society," the court said in a statement.

Murodzhonzoda posts mostly pranks on his social media, while Chistova is described by media as an Instagram model.

They were detained in late September after he posted a picture showing Chistova kneeling in front of him near Saint Basil's Cathedral on Red Square.

In the picture, the blonde woman was seen wearing a Russian police jacket.

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The pair were detained for 10 days after posting the photo for defying police, and the blogger apologised for the picture.

Since returning to the Kremlin for a third term in 2012, Putin has sought to defend traditional values and promote Russia as the antithesis of the West.

That year, two Pussy Riot members were sentenced to two years in a penal colony for hooliganism after their performance in a cathedral protesting against close ties between Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church.

The past year has seen an unprecedented crackdown on all forms of dissent and independent media, with authorities imprisoning top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny for two-and-a-half years in prison on old embezzlement charges.

"Madness, just madness," Navalny's close associate Leoniod Volkov said of the blogger's case on Twitter.

"They DID nothing," he added, "It's just a picture."

Top rights group Memorial said this week that the number of political prisoners in Russia had risen to 420 from 362 last year, part of a trend that recalls late Soviet-era repression.


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