Influencer sentenced to hard labour after ‘she pretended to tickle breast of war statue’

A Russian influencer has been ordered to serve ten months of hard labour for appearing to “tickle” the breast of a iconic war statue in a video shared on social media.

Alena Agafonova, 23, was arrested last year after she was seen in a video at the 279ft statue known as The Motherland Calls, situated in Volgograd, previously Stalingrad, a key site of one of the most notorious battles of World War 2.

Having been charged with the crime of “Rehabilitation of Nazism”, she was granted immediate release from the courtroom but under the condition she does not attempt to leave Russia.

As part of her punishment, Agafonova has also been imposed a two-year ban from using social media and will be subjected to a charge crafted out of ten per cent of any future income she earns.

Following the incident, the influencer issued an apologetic statement expressing regret over her actions.

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Her ordeal is indicative of the stringent moral code being enforced in Putin’s Russia amidst the ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

Moscow has been intensifying its clampdown on any conduct perceived as unpatriotic or contrary to “traditional values”.

In a statement, she expressed remorse: “I address all residents of Russia and Volgograd and ask everyone not to commit the acts I did last year because of my stupidity.

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

The statue in question is one of the most iconic in Russia, honouring the memory of those who perished in what was one of the most savage encounters of the Second World War, culminating in a pivotal Soviet triumph over Hitler.

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