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Ruslan Gafarov quits ‘Sberbank’ following sexual harassment and abuse allegations

Former Open Russia employee and Sberbank social media manager Ruslan Gafarov has quit his job following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and rape. Gafarov announced his resignation on Twitter.

“I told [my] employer that I think it’s wrong to stay at Sberbank. This is my decision. I need to get myself in order and start over. I have the strength for this — I hope that all those involved on both sides of the stories discussed will find it too. To make everyone feel better,” Gafarov wrote.

Multiple women accused Gafarov of sexual harassment and violence on Twitter earlier this week. His former co-workers from Open Russia, Valentina Dekhtyarneko and Alina Danilova, said he made unwanted sexual advances and behaved in a “vile” manner towards women. Another co-worker, Maria Konstantinidi said that he “literally” forced her into unwanted, painful sex (views of this tweet are limited). Valeria Shabelnikova then said that Gafarov raped her.

Gafarov later confessed “to everything” written about him and apologized. Sberbank stated that they had launched an internal investigation after another employee, Sergey Minenko, was also accused of harassment. 

In addition to Gafarov and Minenko, allegations of harassment, sexual abuse, and rape were made against several men who worked or are still working in Russia’s media sphere. Among those facing allegations are Dozhd journalist Pavel Lobkov (who offered his apologies), as well as MBK Media chief editor Sergey Prostakov and photographer Andrey Zolotov (both men announced their dismissal).