The uproar about a Russian rapper’s scandalous naked party has led to officials threatening him with service on the front lines in Ukraine as punishment.
Instagram influencer Anastasia Ivleeva, 32, hosted an “almost naked” party at Moscow’s Mutabor nightclub Dec. 20, 2023, with rapper Nikolai Vasilyev, 25, known as Vacio, wearing only a Balenciaga sock over his genitals in seeming reference to the famous Red Hot Chili Peppers poster for their “Fight Like A Brave” single.
Vasilyev received a 15-day jail sentence and a fine of 200,000 roubles ($2,258) for promoting “non-traditional sexual relations” at the party, The Telegraph reported.
Vasilyev soon received orders to go to a Moscow recruitment center, but he failed to appear after receiving a further 10 days in jail for petty hooliganism and swearing at police officers.
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Russian tabloid Moskovsky Komsomolets claimed Vasilyev suffered from an unspecified medical condition, which might exempt him from service and prevent him from ever reaching the Ukrainian front lines.
The party prompted an unusually strong and swift backlash from the Moscow establishment, including state media and Orthodox Church groups. It dominated Russian headlines for days, seemingly helping to displace news of inflation and rising food prices, Reuters reported.
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Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova claimed the party “stained” those who took part in it.
Conservative politicians and talk show hosts demanded those who attended the party face punishment, which some have linked to a broader crackdown on decadence, while the offensive in Ukraine continues facing heavy losses and average citizens struggle to make ends meet.
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The host, Ivleeva, also faces potential jail time after Russian officials suddenly decided to investigate her taxes. Dozens of people joined a class-action suit that seeks to force Ivleeva to pay over $10 million to a pro-war charity.
One pro-Kremlin conservative pundit called the event “cynical” at a time when “our guys are dying in the special military operation and many children are losing their fathers.”
Prominent television propagandist Vladimir Solovyov in a Telegram post called the attendees “beasts” and “scum,” claiming “these brutes … don’t’ care what’s going on,” The Guardian reported.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has returned to extreme social conservativism as he faces another election in March that analysts expect he will easily win. He has also cracked down on gay rights and urged families to have eight or more children.
Other celebrities who appeared at the “almost naked” party lost their contracts to appear on a major New Year’s Eve televised event, and sponsors deserted them. At least one celebrity lost out on a role in a new film.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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