A costume party in Moscow that featured half-naked celebrities has unleashed a wave of vitriol from Russian politicians and activists looking to curry favour with President Vladimir Putin, according to The Washington Post.
The controversial event was hosted this week at the Mutabor nightclub by popular Russian influencer Anastasia Ivleeva, who charged around US$11,000 for a ticket, the report said.
Among the guests were pop stars and models, according to social media posts, as well as Ksenia Sobchak, a TV personality, influencer, and critic of Putin.
The theme for the event was “nude illusion.” Ivleyev wore a diamond body chain worth US$250,000, while other guests were dressed in skin-toned mesh and lingerie. Russian rapper, Vacio, sported only a sock, The Post reported.
Russian officials and orthodox activists have since called for legal repercussions for the event’s organisers and attendees, highlighting Russia’s conservative turn under Putin’s leadership.
TV propagandists and political activists said the lavish event was “tone-deaf” as Russia’s war with Ukraine nears its third year and estimated Russian casualties climb beyond 300,000, the outlet reported.
Critics of the party also zeroed in on what they said were public expressions of non-heterosexual orientation and relationships at the event, according to The Post.
According to The Moscow Times, police raided the party on its second day and allowed it to continue after a short delay. However, guests were “way more dressed” than the previous day, the report said.
Yekaterina Mizulina, head of a Kremlin-connected group calling for tighter controls over online expression who campaigned for anti-LGBT laws, asked for those who attended the party to be boycotted.
“Such hang-outs are a shot in the foot of the entire policy pursued by the state,” Mizulina wrote in a Telegram post. “[The partygoers] live in a different world than the rest of the country.”
“These people should be boycotted at the state level,” she said.
One radical Christian group named Call of the People directly petitioned the prosecutor general’s office asking for a criminal probe into the party’s conduct, alleging “kissing men” and drug use were present at the event, according to The Post.
Iveleeva’s critics have called for her business opportunities to be closed because of the party, the outlet reported, suggesting she be saddled with hefty fines and an investigation into her finances.
But she appeared to stand her ground in a since-deleted Telegram post viewed by The Post.
“It was worth it, and I love that after my every party people write comments that this is debauchery, some kind of demonism and Satanism, even though its just people wearing beautiful costumes,” she wrote.
Business Insider has reached out to Iveleeva for comment.
The incensed societal response to the party strikes a different tone than the one once espoused by Russian officials – including Putin himself – who spent the early days of the war trying to convince citizens that the fighting in Ukraine would have little impact on their day-to-day lives.
In recent years, Putin has ramped up anti-LGBT rhetoric and legislation in Russia, going so far as to ban the promotion and praise of same-sex relationships.
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