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Russian court sentences woman to 10 months of forced labor for pretending to tickle World War II statue

Source: Meduza

A court in Russia’s Volgograd region has sentenced a local woman to 10 months of forced labor for sharing a video on Instagram in which she pretends to “tickle” a World War II statue.

Alyona Agafonova posted the 12-second clip to her stories in July 2023. It shows her standing next to the base of Volgograd’s World War II monument, The Motherland Calls, and pretending to tickle its chest from afar while she hums a circus tune.

After pro-Kremlin bloggers found the video and began sharing it online, Agafonova was charged with “rehabilitating Nazism.” The Russian Investigative Committee accused her of “carrying out immoral and cynical actions that insulted a symbol of the resilience of the Soviet people during the Great Patriotic War,” using Russia’s term for World War II.

In addition to forced labor, Agafonova’s sentence includes a ban on posting anything on the Internet for two years.

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