Russia’s Almost Naked Party Triggers Conservative Backlash

An almost naked party at a Moscow nightclub organized by blogger Anastasia Ivleeva has faced a massive controversy, leading to consequences for the attendees, including a rapper being jailed and major sponsorship contracts being torn up.

Almost Naked Party Triggers Conservative Backlash

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The Almost Naked Party, held on December 21 at the Mutabor nightclub, featured well known singers in various states of undress and has drawn criticism, particularly in the context of Russia’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine and the country’s conservative social agenda.

The aftermath of the Almost Naked Party has been a powerful backlash from Russian authorities, pro-Kremlin lawmakers, bloggers, state media, and even Orthodox Church groups.

President Vladimir Putin is reported to be unamused, with a video clip circulating online showing his spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, listening to an explanation from one of the stars who attended the controversial event.

Baza, a news outlet with connections to security services, reported that troops involved in the conflict in Ukraine were among the first to express dissatisfaction after seeing the footage, and photographs from the event reached Putin.

Nikolai Vasilyev, a rapper known as Vacio, who attended wearing only a sock to cover his modesty, was jailed for 15 days and fined for the propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations.

Additionally, sponsors of some of Russia’s best-known entertainers have terminated their contracts, leading to financial and reputational consequences for the celebrities involved.

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Anastasia Ivleeva, the Almost Naked Party organizer, is now under investigation for suspected tax evasion, and the tax authorities have opened a probe that carries a five-year jail term.

A Moscow court has accepted a lawsuit from a group of individuals demanding that Ivleeva pay one billion roubles for moral suffering. If successful, the group intends for the money to go to a state fund supporting Ukraine war veterans.

Many of the Almost Naked Party’s famous participants, including journalist Ksenia Sobchak and pop stars Filipp Kirkorov, Lolita, and Dima Bilan, have issued public apologies.

However, the apologies have done little to quell the public outrage, especially among those who support Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The scandal has emotions, with one woman, whose nephew lost both legs in combat, suggesting that the celebrities should pay for prosthetic legs for her relative and others as a meaningful apology.

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The controversy comes at a juncture in Russia, where President Putin has been addressing social conservatism.

Putin’s push for large families, urging families to have eight or more children, and the recent Supreme Court ruling designating LGBT activists as extremists show the country’s social policies.

The current scandal is contrast to Putin’s call for conservative values, leading to a clash between the government’s vision of morality and the actions of high profile individuals who are now facing the consequences of their participation in the Almost Naked Party.

The controversial Almost Naked Party’s timing, amidst Russia’s engagement in the Ukraine conflict and the government’s promotion of conservative values, has fueled public anger.

Yekaterina Mizulina, director of Russia’s League for a Safe Internet, criticized the event as cynical, stating that holding such gatherings while soldiers are on the front line is inappropriate.

One woman, whose nephew lost both legs in combat, called for celebrities to pay for prosthetic legs for war veterans as a meaningful apology. The recent Supreme Court ruling designating LGBT activists as extremists shows the political climate.

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