Foreign student arrested in Russia on 'Nazism' charges for twerking at war memorial

The suspect has been named locally as 21-year-old Zambian student Rebecca Ziba.
The suspect has been named locally as 21-year-old Zambian student Rebecca Ziba. Copyright Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for Khanty-Mansiysk
By The Cube
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Investigators say the 21-year-old performed an "obscene dance" in front of a war memorial in Khanty-Mansiysk.


A female student has been arrested in Russia for allegedly "rehabilitating Nazism" by twerking in front of a war memorial.

The 21-year-old -- identified by local media as Zambian national Tionge (Rebecca) Ziba -- was detained after she posted a video of herself on Instagram.

In the footage -- posted alongside a joking caption -- she can be seen dancing next to a World War II memorial in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Russian investigators have described her actions as "obscene" and "insulting" and have charged her under Part 4 of Art. 354.1 of the Criminal Code, which accuses a person of "rehabilitating nazism".

The regional Investigative Committee said in a statement that the video of Ziba dancing had been posted on social media "accompanied by an offensive inscription".

The student faces up to three years in prison and a fine of up to 3 million roubles (€34,430) if found guilty of "desecrating a symbol of Russian military glory".

The Memorial of Glory in Khanty-Mansiysk is dedicated to soldiers who died during the "Great Patriotic War" against Nazi Germany.

The Russian Investigative Committee also published a video of Rebecca Ziba sitting in what appears to be an interrogation room, where she confesses and apologises for her actions.

"I didn't want the video I posted to be offensive and disrespectful to the dead. I didn't know what the memorial signifies. I apologise very much to everyone," the student says in English.

It is unclear under what kind of conditions she is being held and whether she had access to any legal representation.

Zambia's foreign ministry has since confirmed that 21-year-old Ziba has been released on bail, while her case has been passed on to prosecutors in Khanty-Mansiysk.

Euronews had contacted the Zambian embassy in Moscow for further details on the case.

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