Police in Krasnodar are investigating an apparent hate crime against a local church carried out by an 18-year-old named Egor Grishin. The young man recently shared a photograph on Instagram showing him putting out a cigarette on the face of an icon of the Archangel Michael. Grishin later deleted his Instagram account and told local reporters that the image was a fake.
Officials at the church say the icon’s face has actually been burned, however, adding that they’d like to speak to Grishin, in order to understand why he did this.
Update: Officials sentenced Egor Grishin to nine days in jail for disobeying police orders. On the evening February 8, officers visited Grishin where he studies and ended up detaining him. Law enforcement agencies will continue to review the cigarette-icon case while Grishin is incarcerated.
According to Russia’s Criminal Code, offending religious sensibilities is punishable by up to three years in prison.