According to local officials, two ladies in the Russian-occupied area of Crimea in Ukraine, including the winner of the Miss Crimea contest this year, were found guilty of defaming the Russian army by singing a Ukrainian national anthem in a video uploaded on social media.
Olga Valeyeva, Miss Crimea 2022, and an unidentified companion sang the well-known Ukrainian song “Chervona Kalyna” on a balcony.
Instagram stories had a video of the female singers, but it automatically disappears after 24 hours.
According to Crimean police, Valeyeva received a 40,000 ruble ($663) fine while her companion received a 10-day jail term.
The Crimean Interior Ministry said Monday on Telegram that “a video was posted on the internet in which two girls played a song that is the war hymn of an extremist group.” Crimea is a peninsula that Russia forcefully seized in 2014.
The ladies, who were allegedly born in 1987 and 1989, were found guilty by a court of defaming the Russian army and openly displaying Nazi emblems.
Russia, whose forces are engaged in hostilities in Ukraine, often asserts that Kyiv’s national emblems are radical and Nazi-like.
The ladies apologized for performing the song in a video that the Crimean police also published, but their faces were obscured.
One of the ladies can be heard on the film saying, “I did not know and did not recognize that it had a nationalist element and surely did not wish to disseminate propaganda by singing it.
Valeyeva said previously that she didn’t want to “hurt anybody” in an Instagram post.
She added, “I didn’t realize that this music was associated with anything and is in some way illegal. “We just sung a song in Ukrainian. We believed it to be a simple tune that we had known for a very long time.”
Oleg Kriuchkov, an assistant to the governor of the occupied Crimea, said on Telegram that “No one gets penalized for listening to typical Ukrainian tunes in Crimea.” But nobody will permit the singing of nationalistic anthems here!
After Chervona Kalyna was played at a wedding last month, Sergei Aksyonov, the peninsula’s newly minted ruler established by Moscow, warned Crimeans that authorities would respond “harshly” to such music.
Aksyonov used Moscow’s vocabulary to characterize its military invasion of Ukraine in a video posted to Telegram in September, saying, “Singing such nationalist songs — particularly during the special military operation — will be punished.”
He said, “Those who do this are behaving like traitors.
According to Aksyonov, a special FSB security agency squad is investigating the situation.
In 2014, after a previous invasion, Russia took control of Crimea from Ukraine. Since then, it has been utilized by Russia to wage strikes against that nation in the ongoing conflict.
More than 3,000 people had to flee a Crimean weapons storage in August after it was destroyed by explosions and flames.