A judge in Krasnoyarsk dismissed a case against a local woman accused of sharing a lewd image mocking Russian Orthodox Christianity. This April, state prosecutors discovered a photograph Irina Kudinova shared on the social network Vkontakte depicting an Easter cake and two Easter eggs in what experts argued was a phallic symbol.
The court did not agree, however, and it dropped the charges against Kudinova on Thursday, refusing to consider if her photograph constitutes a “deliberate desecration of a religious object.”
Earlier this month, a court in Yekaterinburg gave Ruslan Sokolovsky, a young YouTube star, a 3.5-year suspended sentence for sharing satirical atheist videos online. Sokolovsky infamously filmed himself played Pokemon Go inside a cathedral last year. His somewhat confusing verdict in part describes his offense as “denying the existence of Jesus Christ and the Prophet Muhammad,” though officials have since clarified that atheism itself is not illegal.
In recent years, Russia has become a country where nearly any kind of mockery of religious views can lead to criminal prosecution for “offending religious sentiments.”