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Russian pop stars threw themselves an exclusive party with an ‘almost naked’ dress code. Here’s what happened next.

Source: Meduza

Russia’s crusaders for traditional values have found a new battle, and nudity of all kinds is at stake. The real headline-grabber was rapper Vacio (Nikolai Vasiliev), who wore nothing but socks on his feet and penis. Still, fellow celebrities Filipp Kirkorov, Lolita Milyavskaya, Ksenia Sobchak, and others gave Vacio a run for his money, wearing transparent bodysuits that teased nipples, navels, and buttcracks. 

This was the scene at Moscow’s “Mutabor” nightclub on Wednesday, December 20, where blogger and TV presenter Nastya Ivleeva hosted the “Almost Naked” party. A ticket for the evening reportedly cost a cool million rubles ($10,770). Before the bacchanalia was even done, footage from the event started appearing in tabloids and spreading rapidly across social media. 

As Internet users gawked and gossiped, there was immediate outrage from conservative activists and pundits, several of whom began lobbying for a police response. Representatives of radical traditionalist groups like “Sorok Sorokov,” “Call of the People,” and the “Federal Project for Security and Anti-Corruption” (FPBK) soon appealed to the Prosecutor General’s Office and other law-enforcement agencies, calling the “Almost Naked” party an “immoral” celebration of the “dark arts” and asking the authorities to investigate its organizers for propagating drug culture and “the gay lifestyle.” 

Some have called for administrative charges, while others want a full-on criminal investigation. One of the recurring complaints is that Ivleeva’s festivities come at a time when Russia is busy invading Ukraine, ostensibly in defense of “traditional values” against the onslaught of Western decadence and progressivism. 

Ekaterina Mizulina, the head of the Safe Internet League, has campaigned aggressively to purge Russian popular culture of drug references and other unholy cravings. Her objections to “dangerous content” often lead to real consequences for the artists responsible, such as police charges against musician Oxxxymiron and the deportation of rapper Nekoglai. On December 21, Mizulina urged a boycott “at the state level” of the celebrities who attended the “Almost Naked” party. “Our soldiers at the front definitely aren’t fighting for this,” she said. “These raves are like firing a bullet into the foot of the entire policy implemented by the state.”

Other conservatives found the party’s supposed “LGBT” overtones most alarming. Maria Butina is a former gun rights activist who became a television propagandist and federal lawmaker after serving 14 months behind bars in the United States, where she pleaded guilty to felony charges of conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent of the Russian state. On Thursday, writing on official State Duma letterhead in her capacity as a deputy, Butina appealed to the Internal Affairs Ministry, the Cultural Ministry, and Russia’s media regulator, requesting inquiries into the “Almost Naked” party to see if it violated Russia’s ban on “LGBT propaganda” and a November 2022 presidential decree on preserving and strengthening “traditional Russian spiritual and moral values.”

“Listen, they all have children. What kind of example are they setting for their children? All the truest LGBT people gathered there,” moaned FPBK director Vitaly Borodin. “What were they thinking? There’s a special military operation underway. Our society is at a loss.” Borodin also asked Internal Affairs Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev and Moscow Chief of Police Oleg Baranov to dispatch officers to the “Mutabor” nightclub on December 21 to prevent a planned second night of festivities. 

When Thursday evening came, the police arrived at Mutabor ahead of most guests, but the authorities didn’t stick around. “Officers collected what materials they needed and left,” said the radio station Govorit Moskva. Round two of the party eventually rolled into action, this time open to the general public at an admission fee of just 2,500 rubles ($27). At the time of this writing, organizer Nastya Ivleeva was absent from the celebration. The Telegram channel Shot reported that the nightclub’s security guards were now asking guests to don additional clothing if their outfits revealed too much skin.

Hours earlier, on Thursday morning (apparently before realizing the scale of conservatives’ outrage and the involvement of law enforcement), Nastya Ivleeva taunted her critics on social media, writing (in a comment that’s since disappeared) that she loves getting hate for staging risque events: 

We look at the West and see these beautiful, slim models come out, and we say, “Damn, they’re so beautiful, they’re so cool.” And now our own beautiful, trim artists come out, and everyone’s like, “Fuck, look at this shit. Pop is dead.” God, I love it so much. May it never end.

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