MOSCOW (AP) – A court in southern Russia has sentenced three young women to brief jail terms for making a video showing them twerking next to a World War II memorial.
Russia celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Allies’ victory in the World War II next month, an emotionally charged holiday the Kremlin has been using for propaganda purposes.
The sentencing in the Novorossiysk district court of a 19-year-old woman to 15 days in jail and two women in their 20s to 10 days comes after prosecutors launched a probe into a video showing a group of women twerking next to the memorial on the Black Sea. Twerking is a sexually provocative dance involving thrusting of the hips.
Prosecutors said in a statement Saturday that five women were found guilty of “hooliganism” and two of them were spared jail because of poor health. Hooliganism is the charge that sent two members of punk band Pussy Riot to prison for two years for an impromptu protest at Moscow’s main cathedral in 2012.
Prosecutors in Novorossiysk also said they were pressing charges against the parents of one underage girl who was twerking with the others girls for “the failure to encourage the physical, intellectual, physiological, spiritual and moral development of a child.”
This is a second twerking scandal in Russia in less than two weeks.
Investigators last week launched a probe into a dance school in the city of Orenburg after a YouTube video of female school girls dressed as bees and twerking in a sexually suggestive Winnie the Pooh routine sparked outrage. The dance school was temporarily shut down while officials in this southern city not far from the Kazakh border ordered an inspection of all dance schools in the region.