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Russian Celebrities Lose Jobs, Jail in Reaction to Raunchy Party

A composite image showing, on the left, a tearful Anastasia Ivleeva apologizing in a video, and on the right, a view of the party she threw on December 20, 2023, which sparked a massive reaction in Russia.
Anastasia Ivleeva/Telegram/Ostorozhno Novosti via Reuters

  • The outraged public reaction to a steamy evening of Russian celebrities has reached fever pitch.
  • Celebrities who attended the “almost naked” party were boycotted and even imprisoned.
  • The reaction appears to be a pivotal moment for Russia’s growing social conservatism.

The fallout from a raunchy party in Moscow that shocked Russian society has mounted, with several celebrities facing boycotts, legal action and even prison sentences.

Many Russian influencers are making groveling apologies and losing their jobs as outrage over the December 20 “almost naked” party continues unabated.

The party was hosted by influencer Anastasia Ivleeva who asked her guests to dress in a “naked illusion” theme.

Her guests, paying about $11,000 a ticket, did so enthusiastically, dressed in tonal mesh and lace, with Ivleeva herself wearing a diamond body chain worth $250,000, reported the Washington Post.

One rapper, named Vacio, showed up wearing just shoes and a strategically placed sock, The Post reported.

Anastasia Ivleeva attends the Prada Spring/Summer 2024 women’s fashion show on September 21, 2023 in Milan, Italy.
Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images for Prada

Now, amid growing outrage, Ivleeva faces a class-action lawsuit filed on December 26, in which the plaintiffs demand that she pay $11 million to a veterans’ charity, according to the Russian media outlet independent Meduza.

Vacio – real name Nikolai Vasilyev – was sentenced to 15 days in prison for violating Russian laws banning the promotion of homosexuality, according to The Guardian. Other participants lost well-paying jobs, found themselves abandoned by the brands they promoted, and saw TV specials and concerts canceled, Meduza reported.

Initially, Ivleeva welcomed the outrage in a Telegram post, saying she loved receiving criticism for her antics, according to Meduza.

But as the backlash intensified, that message was replaced with a tearful apology video, Meduza reported.

Pro-censorship activist Ekaterina Mizulina said the party was “a kick in the foot to the entire politics of our state” and called for a government-level boycott of the celebrities involved, the Washington Post reported. Mizulina, the daughter of a prominent anti-LGBTQ senator, supported a recent law labeling the international LGBTQ movement as extremist.

One of Russian television’s biggest propagandists, commentator Vladimir Soloviev, called partygoers “stupid” and “scum,” the Washington Post reported.

Both critics drew attention to the contrast between the party’s decadence and the country’s soldiers on the front lines in Ukraine.

Russian officials, including Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, have also criticized the party.

Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, acknowledged the negative reaction when asked, but would not add anything to it.

This reaction appears to be a defining moment in Russia’s current transition toward extreme social conservatism. It also suggests that the economic deprivations and hardships of military service involved in the invasion of Ukraine are much closer to the minds of the Russian public than Putin had initially hoped.

In an analysis, BBC Russia editor Steve Rosenberg attributed the consequences of the decision to the need for scapegoats in the Russian political system.

“He needs groups or individuals he can point to and blame for problems at home and abroad,” he wrote.

“So far, these scapegoats have included Ukraine, the US, the UK, the EU and NATO. It appears that some Russian celebrities are now on the list.”

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