Ira Volkova: Model arrested for flashing bum outside Russia's St Isaac's Cathedral
A 30-year-old social media influencer and model who flashed her bottom outside a Russian cathedral has now been arrested.
Ira Volkova was held in St Petersburg for reportedly exposing her bum outside St Isaac's Cathedral. The mother-of-one was seen posing outside the church, with her back turned to the camera. Her actions led to a criminal case in which she was accused of “humiliating and insulting the religious feelings of believers” by showing “naked body parts against the background” of the cathedral. This comes just a day after a couple was jailed for staging a risqué photoshoot near St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.
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A video featuring Volkova was shot this summer and recently piqued the interest of the authorities. "It has now been handed over to the investigating authorities," a police spokesperson said. Meanwhile, the model said she had received "threats" after her case was highlighted by the Russian media. "I'm very angry at people for being so vile. I'm ashamed of them,” she said.
According to The Sun, the influencer was detained after she voluntarily appeared at the office of the Russian Investigative Committee. A spokesman for the cathedral said it hadn't complained about her stunt, but asked the public to "let the competent services deal with this issue." Volkova, who has a school-age son, is remanded in custody pending a trial. "The issue of her pre-trial detention and the filing of charges against her is currently being resolved,” a committee statement read. You can view the photos here.
Last month, influencers Ruslan Bobiev and his girlfriend Anastasia Chistova sparked outrage by taking a saucy snap in front of a cathedral in the Red Square. The photo showed Christova simulating a sex act on Bobiev while wearing a police uniform, and led to the duo being charged with “insulting religious feelings." Bobiev, a Tajik national whose real name is Ruslani Talabjon, was ordered by the court to be deported after serving his sentence. "Anastasia Chistova and Ruslani Murodzhonzoda committed public actions expressing clear disrespect for society," the court said of the Instagram model and the internet prankster respectively.
“I would like to apologize before those whose feelings I hurt by these pictures," Chrsitova said. “I didn’t think - and simply wanted likes and popularity. Now I realize the price of such popularity. And I have to answer to the fullest extent of the law with my freedom, public condemnation, the disapproval of my parents and people close to me. I am very hurt.”
According to Chrstova, it was Bobiev who picked the location and convinced her there was nothing wrong with their plan. “I just followed him like a dog,” she said. Meanwhile, Bobiev offered his own apology to the authorities. “I was posing for pictures next to the cathedral. I am sorry," he said. “I am sincerely sorry, I will never do it again. I was taking pictures with a girl wearing a police uniform next to me. I sincerely apologize.” According to The Sun, the couple became the first to receive a prison sentence for “insulting religious feelings” under new laws. Such acts previously resulted only in fines or suspended sentences.