A Russian local politician was fined nearly USD 2,000 on Thursday for “discrediting the armed forces”. However, his crime was in fact not exactly related to the Russian Army. The action considered an illegal act was but a joke – putting spaghetti pasta on his ears while listening to a speech by President Vladimir Putin – a human rights monitoring group informed.
Mikhail Abdalkin filmed and posted the video on social media. The picturesque action was based on a Russian saying in that while someone is hoping to deceive somebody with a long-winded speech they symbolically hang noodles on their ears.
The court fined Samara deputy Mikhail Abdalkin for 150 thousand rubles for watching Putin's address with noodles on his ears.
The deputy was found guilty of "discrediting the Russian army".
Abdalkin did not admit his guilt. pic.twitter.com/tK9s6VWhUN
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) March 16, 2023
The human rights group OVD-Info quoted Abdalkin, a member of the Communis Party from the Samara region, explaining the video as an ironic gesture for expressing his disappointment with “the president’s silence about internal political problems”. For his “criminal act,” he ended up being fined RUB 150,000 (USD 1,950).
Just after invading Ukraine, the Russian parliament passed a law penalizing any “discrediting” or spreading false news about the armed forces or suchlike, a case in point being the Wagner mercenary group. The law is applied widely for silencing any criticism or opposition against ongoing aggression on their neighboring country.