Brave fashion influencer, 18, faces six years in jail for ‘extremist activity’ just for using INSTAGRAM in Putin’s Russia
- Veronika Loginova has 556k Instagram followers and posts no political content
- Prosecutors said she ‘stands out too much’ and attracts others to the platform
- Russian court banned Facebook and Instagram for ‘extremist activities’ in March
- Instagram is still accessed by Russian elites by using a VPN despite the ban
A brave 18-year-old fashion influencer in Russia is facing six years in jail after her Instagram account was branded as ‘extremist activity’.
Veronika Loginova has 556,000 followers on the social media platform and is risking the jail sentence despite posting no political content.
She was accused by the Kuntsevskaya Interdistrict Prosecutor’s Office of ‘extremism’ by ‘performing actions to attract users to social networks Facebook and Instagram’.
In March a court in Russia banned Facebook and Instagram, claiming they were ‘carrying out extremist activities’.
The country also cracked down on protesters and news outlets following its invasion of Ukraine at the end of February.
Veronika Loginova (pictured on Instagram) – a Russian fashion influencer – is facing six years in jail just for posting on Instagram – despite not posting any political content
Loginova posted on Instagram in tears and said she wouldn’t let the threat of jail stop her using her account
Loginova posted on Instagram in tears, saying: ‘Any day prosecutors can come to your house.
‘I never touched politics and now I face six years in jail…for running Instagram.’
‘Good morning, you woke up in Russia. And while we don’t speak about such things, I will still speak.’
Two state prosecutors called at Loginova’s home, claiming that her audience of over 1.1 million on Instagram and YouTube means she ‘stands out too much’.
The fashion influencer spoke about the realities of living in Russia – saying: ‘Anyone can have a visit from police or prosecutors and be told that there is a threat of a six-year jail term for using Instagram’
The blogger was accused by the Kuntsevskaya Interdistrict Prosecutor’s Office of ‘extremism’ by ‘performing actions to attract users to social networks Facebook and Instagram’
The 18-year-old took to her Instagram account to question the assumptions: ‘Really? Do I? An 18-year-old fashion blogger?
‘An entrepreneur, creator of my own clothing brand that pays taxes to her own country?
‘A person who writes posts about mental health support, and has never once touched on a political agenda on her blog?
‘Yeah. There you go. You live, you make pretty pictures, you build a business, you help people, you don’t touch anyone.
Veronika Loginova, 18, has 556,000 followers on Instagram after starting her account when she was just 15
‘I am going to get to the bottom of it, and to cover it here,’ Loginova posted on Instagram
‘But you live in Russia, and among a million bloggers, they come to you. What do I do now? Quit Instagram? Flee Russia? Sue?
The successful beauty and fashion influencer began her accounts when she was just 15 and has built her following since.
She vowed that she wouldn’t be fazed by the threat.
‘I am going to get to the bottom of it, and to cover it here,’ she posted on Instagram.
‘Thankfully, I have support in the form of people who understand that this is not normal. This is totally f****d up and I want as many people as possible to know about this story.
‘So I am asking everyone who has a voice, everyone who has even one follower to share it, and to say this is NOT normal.’
Russian elites are still avidly using Instagram. The Defence Minister’s daughter Ksenia Shoigu (pictured with her father) uses Instagram but keeps it in private mode
Olympic skater Tatiana Navka, 47, wife of Putin’s high-profile spokesman Dmitry Peskov (pictured together), is also an enthusiastic user of Instagram and has faced no threat of jail
Russia has now created its own equivalent of the social media app – called ‘Rossgram’ – but Instagram is still popular among elites and can be accessed via a VPN.
There is no record of the Kremlin Instagramers facing prosecution under Putin’s draconian laws.
Recently topless beach pictures of the Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu’s daughter Ksenia, 31, were shared on the platform by her lover, sports blogger Alexey Stolyarov, 32.
The Defence Minister’s daughter Ksenia Shoigu also uses Instagram but keeps it in private mode.
Olympic skater Tatiana Navka, 47, wife of Putin’s high-profile spokesman Dmitry Peskov, is also an enthusiastic user of Instagram and has faced no threat of jail.
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