The recent visit of a Russian shaman to St. Petersburg has triggered an outcry among local parliamentarians.
Nikolai Taleev, dressed in ceremonial costume and carrying a drum, reportedly carried out a ritual in the St. Petersburg legislative council in early March to chase away evil spirits.
Taleev is from the northern port town of Naryan-Mar, the administrative center of the Nenets Autonomous Region.
Lawmaker Konstantin Smirnov told AFP news agency that the visit prompted deputies from Russia's second biggest city to call a special session to determine whether its "authority had been undermined."
Vitaly Milonov, the author of controversial legislation that bans the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" among minors, said it was “scandalous to organize devilish dances by a shaman here during the Great Fast (Lent)."
The deputy who invited the shaman to the parliament, Igor Korovin, said it was merely a guided visit organized at the request of friends.