A COUPLE have been handed prison sentences after they staged an X-rated photoshoot close to St Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow.
Internet influencer Ruslan Bobiyev, from Tajikistan, and his girlfriend Anastasia Chistova caused outrage last month after a photo appeared with her wearing a police jacket and simulating a sex act as she crouched in front of him.
The cathedral in Red Square, Moscow, is seen as a hugely popular cultural symbol as well as a sacred site by the Russian Orthodox church.
The pair were arrested by the authorities for 10 days and fined 5,000 rubles (£51) with the court also ordering Bobiyev – real name Ruslani Talabjon – to be deported.
They were later charged with “insulting religious feelings.”
Bobiyev and Chistova were found guilty on Friday by Moscow’s Tverskoy district court and both were sentenced to 10 months in a penal colony, according to the state-owned news agency TASS.
The couple were the first people to receive a prison sentence for “insulting religious feelings,” with previous cases ending up with either a fine or a suspended sentence.
Under the law a maximum of a year’s jail time can be imposed but prosecutors had requested a 10-month sentence.
RIA Novosti, a state-run news agency, circulated footage of Bobiyev, who said he had picked up more than 100,000 Instagram followers before his account was blocked and apologised for the photoshoot.
His lawyer said Bobiyev did not intend to appeal the sentence.
The law criminalising the insulting of feelings to religious believers was passed in 2013 in the wake of the anti-Kremlin group Pussy Riot’s Punk Prayer performance at the central Moscow cathedral.
Earlier this month, an OnlyFans model allegedly received death threats after video emerged of her flashing her boobs outside the same cathedral.
The woman, who is known to subscribers as Lola Bunny, was widely condemned for her actions forcing the woman to issue an apology.
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