Russian influencer threatened with six years in jail for using Instagram

Aisha Nozari

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Russian influencer threatened with six years in jail for using Instagram

Featured Image Credit: @logiinovva/Instagram/Shutterstock

An 18-year-old social media influencer in Russia has claimed authorities have threatened her with a six-year prison sentence for using Instagram.

In March, Russia banned social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram for ‘extremist’ activities, but Veronika Loginova claims that she has never used her platform - which boasts more than half a million followers - to discuss political matters. 

In a statement shared on the social media platform yesterday (21 September), Loginova said that she received a call from her mother while she was away in Paris informing her the police had visited their family home ‘looking’ for her.

An 18-year-old social media influencer in Russia has claimed authorities have threatened her with a six-year prison sentence for using Instagram. Credit: Instagram/logiinovva
An 18-year-old social media influencer in Russia has claimed authorities have threatened her with a six-year prison sentence for using Instagram. Credit: Instagram/logiinovva

NGO Roskomsvoboda, a public organisation dedicated to protecting the digital rights of Russians, noted that Loginova is the first person to be prosecuted by a Russian court since its social media crackdown earlier this year.

In her lengthy Instagram statement, Loginova alleged that ‘two grown men’ entered her family’s hallway and told her mother they were looking for the influencer because she ‘stood out too much’.

“This is not normal. This is a total f**k up,” she continued, saying that she mainly uses her Instagram to post about ‘mental health and fashion’.

Her full Instagram post read: “Now I face a prison sentence of up to 6 years for maintaining Instagram. 

“Good morning, you woke up in Russia. And it's not customary to talk about it, but I will say. On August 17, I was in Paris [and got] a call from my mother with a trembling voice.

“‘[She said] the police came to our house and they are looking for you.’”

Loginova continued: “Meanwhile my 14 year old brother is trying to figure out what’s even going on and why there are two grown men in the hallway making a statement. 

“A statement in which, as it turned out later, I face a 6-year term for using Instagram. And in the words that ‘I stand out too much’. Are you serious? Me? 

“[An] 18 year old girl, a fashion blogger? Entrepreneur, creator of a clothing brand who pays taxes to his own country? A person who posts about mental health support and never touched a political agenda on his blog? Yup. Just like that. 

In March Russia banned Facebook and Instagram for ‘extremist’ activities. Credit: bigtunaonline / Alamy Stock Photo
In March Russia banned Facebook and Instagram for ‘extremist’ activities. Credit: bigtunaonline / Alamy Stock Photo

“You live, take beautiful photos, build a business, help people, do not touch anyone. But you live in Russia, and among a million bloggers they come to you. Without exaggeration, there has not been a single similar case in the history of my lawyer's work.”

Loginova continued: “Apparently, being the first is in everything. What will I do? Should I quit Instagram? To run away from Russia? Taking a lawsuit? To figure out and shed light on this story here. 

Thankfully I have support in the form of people who understand. This is not normal. This is a total f**k up. And I want this story to be heard by as many people as possible.”

The influencer concluded: “I will be grateful to everyone who can support with a repost and shed light on the situation. This is really important. I attach the same letter in the carousel. And a little of my emotions.”

UNILAD has approached Loginova for further comment.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: News, Russia, Social Media, Instagram

Aisha Nozari
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