Two young Russian women were forced to make a public apology because of a kiss they posted on TikTok.
Russian authorities tracked down Vlada Alchaeva, 24, and her friend Vika, 19, and charged them with heavy fines for breaking the country’s strict laws banning “LGBT propaganda.”
Last November, the Russian Supreme Court declared the “international public LGBT movement” to be an “extremist organization.” Because of these new laws, the pair of girls were told they could ‘damage the psyche’ of minors with the video of them kissing.
Vlada and Vika aren’t the only ones facing the consequences of Russia’s draconian approach to LGBT censorship. Three people have been charged for displaying rainbows in public. On Monday, artist and photographer Inna Mosina was charged a fine for Instagram posts featuring rainbow flags. Last Thursday, a Volgograd man was charged with a fine for posting a photograph of an LGBTQ+ flag with “displaying the symbols of an extremist organization.” Last Monday, Anastasia Yershova was arrested after being refusing to remove her rainbow earrings in a cafe.
Fines are the most benign of the consequences of the new law. Anyone who financially supports or actively participates in an “extremist organization” can be subject to 12 years in prison.
“It was all in jest, just for laughs,” said Vlada, when she was interrogated by authorities in regards to the TikTok lesbian kiss.
During a police interrogation, an officer asked: “Did you understand that your video could be viewed by minors and that the French kiss you performed could have damaged their psyche?”
Vika replied: “I didn’t think it could have affected anyone.”
Vlada was asked: “So you often kiss women in real life?” to which she replied “No, no, no! It was just a joke. I regret it very much, I am very sorry. I’m only now beginning to realize what we’ve done. And I understand that we shouldn’t have done that.”
Vlada could owe a fine up to £1,750 and Vika a could owe up to £875.