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In Luhansk, Death For A Cartoon?


Irina Filatova had posted this photo of herself on her now-deleted VKontakte profile.

Irina Filatova had posted this photo of herself on her now-deleted VKontakte profile.

If a Luhansk-based news portal is to be believed, defamation comes with a heavy price in the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic.

Particularly if the aggrieved is the self-styled minister of culture, Irina Filatova.

She is allegedly outraged about a satirical cartoon that mocks her past propensity to gallivant less than fully clothed in public places.

And according to the Luhansk Radar news site, Filatova has requested a trial and some very specific punishments for Ukrainian singer and writer Irena Karpa, the creator of the cartoon "Neo-Soviet Mutant": a 50,000 ruble fine ($1,230) and death by firing squad.

The cartoon -- a 3 1/2-minute video that at one point depicts Filatova topless in positions similar to those in pictures she had once posted to her now deleted VKontakte profile -- has "disrupted my sleep and weakened me," says the alleged complaint.

Although news of the order has spread in Ukrainian and some Western media, the scanned document has only appeared on Luhansk Radar, a staunchly pro-Kyiv news site.

In its original publication, the site said a "police source" had handed the document over.

But the complaint's appendix may tilt slightly into the realm of political satire: It includes both photos taken from social media and the screenshots from the offending cartoon.

Filatova herself has not commented, but according to the Moscow-based Slon.ru, a press spokesperson for the "Luhansk People's Republic" denied that she has ever served as culture minister.

Karpa, for her part, appears to be taking the alleged threat in stride.

"Oy, I'm scared-scared-scared)))" the Kyiv-based artist wrote, with apparent sarcasm, on Facebook.

She also promised a sequel.

-- Glenn Kates

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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