A terrified transsexual blogger who fled Russia accused of promoting homosexuality and insulting the army has been fined by judges in Moscow.
Andrei Petrov, who now identifies as a woman called Milana Petrova, feared she would be jailed after 20 complaints about her posts were apparently linked to her support for imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Petrov was arrested at Moscow airport after returning to Russia following her escape to Europe.
The blogger feared she would be swept up in Russia’s powerful so-called ‘child protection’ laws.
If Petrova was treated as an official, she could have been fined up to RUB 1 million (GBP 6,740) and held in a male prison for months awaiting trial.
Eventually, she was fined just RUB 250,000 (GBP 2,500) by the Tverskoy Court of Moscow.
Petrova first made a name for herself promoting cosmetics on Instagram, often appearing with bright nail varnish and wearing women’s clothes.
Russia’s “gay propaganda law” was approved by the State Duma, Russia’s parliament, in 2013, making it illegal to promote “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships”. Officially, the law was implemented to protect children.
The law was widely condemned Around the World, Including by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and by Amnesty International, as well as Human Rights Watch.