Popular Journalist/TV presenter, Anastasia fined for hosting ‘almost naked’ party that caused outrage.

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TV presenter and influencer Anastasia Ivleeva has already apologised twice for hosting an “almost naked” party in a Moscow club that sparked a moral backlash in wartime Russia.

Now Lefortovo court in Moscow has imposed a 100,000-rouble (£870; $1,100) fine on her for arranging it.

“I would like to ask you, the people, for a second chance,” she pleaded in an Instagram video this week.

She was convicted of organising a mass presence that violated public order.

But Friday’s fine may not be the end of her public humiliation.

A remorseful Ivleeva has already promised to donate the proceeds of ticket sales to charities.

But another court has registered a billion-rouble class action lawsuit against her for “moral damage”, signed by 22 people, who want her to hand the billion to a group that donates money to Russians fighting in Ukraine.

After the party, held on 20 December at Moscow’s Mutabor nightclub, video emerged of well-known Russian celebrities dressed in underwear and lingerie, and in one case a strategically placed sock and a pair of shoes.

What had been a private party quickly became public property amid a wartime climate of increasing intolerance. It also served as a distraction from anger at the rising price of eggs.

Russian rapper Vacio, whose single-sock outfit led to his arrest, has since been handed a 15-day jail term for “disorderly conduct”. Otherwise known as Nikolai Vasiliev, he was found guilty of promoting “non-traditional sexual relations” and handed a fine twice that of Ivleeva’s.

In the words of BBC Russia Editor Steve Rosenberg, pro-Kremlin bloggers, MPs and activists, who supported the war, were furious. “How could celebrities be out partying like this while Russian soldiers were putting their lives on the line in the ‘special military operation’?”

“Our soldiers on the front line are definitely not fighting for this,” said pro-censorship activist Yekaterina Mizulina, who runs Russia’s League for a Safe Internet.

Other guests have been punished in different ways, with concerts or sponsorship contracts cancelled. Some are said to have been removed from Channel One’s glitzy pre-recorded New Year’s Eve TV show, which many Russians may now watch to spot who has been edited out.

Veteran singer Lolita Milyavskaya says her gigs are being cancelled and she is being “cut out of television”. Anastasia Ivleeva herself has seen her face vanish from mobile firm MTS’s advertising campaign and her business is facing an audit from the tax service.

Former Eurovision singer Dima Bilan and TV presenter Ksenia Sobchak have said sorry too.

So-called king of Russian pop Philipp Kirkorov was as profuse in his apology to the public as any of his fellow guests, saying simply: “There are moments in everyone’s life when you walk through the wrong door.”

Widely regarded as President Vladimir Putin’s favourite singer, Kirkorov appealed for his “mistake” not to affect his career in “Russia, the only country I exist in as an artist and as a citizen”.

Suggestions that he might be deprived of his “Order of Honour” appear to be false, but he has been removed from a poster for a New Year’s Eve TV film called “Ivan Vasilievech changes everything”.

The remake of a popular old Soviet-era film features Kirkorov as Peter the Great and the TV channel director has said some of the scenes are being re-shot before it airs.

The Kremlin has, meanwhile, distanced itself from the outcry. “Let you and I be the only ones in the country who aren’t discussing this topic,” spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. (BBC)


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