Three young Russian women have been sentenced to jail time for twerking in front of a Russian World War II memorial. The dancers were found guilty of hooliganism, the same charge levied against Pussy Riot, after they recorded themselves dancing in a video uploaded to YouTube.
The Novorossiysk district court in southern Russia sentenced a 19-year-old woman to 15 days in jail and two women in their 20s to 10 days after viewing a music video of the young women dancing in front of a memorial on the Black Sea, the Associated Press reported. Six women appeared in the video. Two of the others were fined, and the sixth went unpunished because she is a minor. Prosecutors said twerking, a form of dancing that has grown in popularity in recent years, was “erotic and sexual.”
The video, embedded below, shows the women dancing in front of a 1982 memorial put in place to commemorate the Soviets who freed the city Novorossiysk from the German occupation in 1943.
“This incident of disrespect for the memory of war history is unacceptable and any attempts to desecrate sites of military glory will be stopped immediately,” one prosecutor said.
This is the second time the Russian government intervened in a twerking incident in as many weeks. Officials in the city of Orenburg, near Russia's border with Kazakhstan, shut down a dance school after another video surfaced on YouTube showing a dance troupe of girls ages 15-18 twerking in Winnie the Pooh costumes.
The Novorossiysk sentencing is different though in that next month marks the 70th anniversary of the Allied victory in World War II. The Kremlin and the state-controlled media have used the celebration as a major propaganda event.