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Russian influencer faces jail for pretending to tickle war statue

Russian influencer faces jail for pretending to tickle war statue

Alena Agafonova is being held in custody for pretending to touch a statue in Russia (Picture: East2West News)

A Russian influencer could be sent to prison for as long as five years for air tickling the breast of a famous war statue from a distance. 

Alena Agafonova filmed herself pretending to touch the chest of a 279ft statue in Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, where one of World War Two’s most epic battles took place.

The 23-year-old posted a video on her Instagram story where her finger is seen wiggling in front of the huge sculpture called The Motherland Calls, which depicts a woman brandishing a sword.

Instagram is officially banned in Russia

She can also be heard humming a tune and giggling in the background as she records the clip which she shared with a laughing emoji.

After filming the video last year, Agafonova was put on Russia’s most wanted list and she went into hiding in Sri Lanka.

But she was arrested when she returned to her homeland this week and was immediately transported from Moscow to Volgograd where she will be detained for two months while further investigations are carried out.

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Agafonova is accused of ‘desecration of a burial site’ and ‘cynical actions that disregard the norms of morality’ as well as the ‘rehabilitation of Nazism’.

She has since issued a grovelling apology for the video but still faces criminal prosecution in Volgograd and a sentence of up to five years behind bars.

‘I address all residents of Russia and Volgograd and ask everyone not to commit the acts I did last year because of my stupidity,’ she said.

‘I didn’t even think that I could insult someone’s feelings. I ask all Russian citizens for forgiveness.’

Footage of Agafonova’s arrest showed her being reprimanded by a law enforcement officer as she was handcuffed.

Agafonova, 23, was arrested when she returned to Russia after going on the run in Sri Lanka (Picture: Investigative Committee/East2West News)

Alena Agafonova wiggled her finger in front of The Motherland Calls statue in Volgograd and shared the video on Instagram, which is officially banned in Russia (Picture: Instagram/East2West News)

He told her: ‘I am informing you that the investigative department for the central district of Volgograd has a criminal case against you for the desecration of a symbol of military glory of Russia, insult to the memory of defenders of the fatherland, committed with the use of the internet.’

Her punishment is one of many incidents highlighting the strict Russian regime under Vladimir Putin amid the war with Ukraine.

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Authorities have continued to crack down on any behaviour seen as anti-patriotic or in defiance of ‘traditional values’.

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Earlier this week, two women influencers were also forced into abject apologies and will face fines over a lesbian kiss they posted on social media.

Agafonova issued a public apology but could still face up to five years behind bars for her offence (Picture: Instagram/East2West News)

The statue Agafonova filmed herself in front of is among the most famous in Russia.

It commemorates those who fought and died in one of the bloodiest battles in WWII, resulting in a decisive Soviet victory against Hitler.

The USSR suffered more than one million casualties during the Battle of Stalingrad, which lasted from August 1942 until February 1943.

Separately, social activist Rasul Akhiyaretdinov haș called for Putin to cover up The Motherland Calls statue.

Agafonova is accused of ‘desecration of a burial site’ and ‘cynical actions that disregard the norms of morality’ as well as the ‘rehabilitation of Nazism’ (Picture: Instagram/East2West News)

He was embarrassed by her ‘openly protruding nipples’ in which he said he discerned ‘homosexual moments and a decline in morality’, he claimed.

The statue which dates from the Soviet era in 1967 could be upsetting to both Orthodox and Muslim Russians, he said.

‘It would be better if the Motherland was more covered,’ said Mr Akhiyaretdinov.

He plans to appeal to Putin to call for a cover-up.

Last month, Russia jailed a 72-year-old woman for six years for two social media posts about Ukraine.

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