An 18-year-old Russian influencer could face up to six years in jail after her Instagram account was branded as “extremist activity” by the Kuntsevskaya Interdistrict Prosecutor’s Office, Moscow, for “carrying out actions to attract users to the social networks Facebook and Instagram.
Veronika Loginova has 556,000 followers on Instagram and is at risk of imprisonment despite not posting political content.
Through tears, the young woman recently published a video where she recounted her situation: “Any day the prosecutors can come to your house. I’ve never touched politics and now I’m facing six years in jail… for using Instagram. Good morning, you woke up in Russia. And even if we don’t talk about those things, I’ll keep talking.”
Though Instagram and Facebook are banned in Russia since March -under the accusation of “carrying out extremist activities”-, are still widely used by the country’s elite and can only be accessed using the services VPN (Internet anti-filter programs).
In that context, According to Loginova’s account, two state prosecutors called her home a few days ago and warned her that she “stands out too much” in Russia.as it has an audience of more than 1.1 million between its Instagram and YouTube accounts.
It was then that the influencer decided to make a statement on social networks about these questions from the Russian authorities. “Seriously, me? An 18-year-old fashion blogger? An entrepreneur, creator of my own clothing brand who pays taxes to her own country? A person who writes posts about supporting mental health and who has never touched a political agenda on his blog? Yes. There you have it. You live, you take beautiful photos, you create a business, you help people, you don’t touch anyone. But you live in Russia, and among a million bloggers, they come to you. What do I do now? Give up Instagram? Flee from Russia? Sue?” said Veronika Loginova.
The successful influencer began with her posts at the age of 15 and the number of followers has been increasing exponentially.
“I’m going to get to the bottom of it and cover it here”he warned on Instagram, and stated that he was not afraid of the threat. “Luckily, I have the support of people who understand that this is not normal. This is wrong and I want as many people as possible to know about this story. So I ask everyone who has a voice, everyone who has even one follower, to share it and say that this is NOT normal.
On the other hand, several international media noted that there are members of the Kremlin elite who also use Instagram and, however, have not been persecuted by these types of laws from the government of Vladimir Putin. For example, Ksenia Shoigu31 years old and daughter of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigurecently shared topless photos with her lover, 32-year-old sports blogger Alexey Stolyarov, on the platform. And the Olympic figure skater Tatiana Navka47 years old and wife of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskovwas also criticized for her constant use of Instagram although she is not facing any jail threat.
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