I have a piece out today in Foreign Policy about the honeypot the Russian opposition has got its paws in, and why Russians don’t care about sex tapes. At all.
The phone call came in the middle of the night. The tape, the caller said, was already online. It was past two, but Viktor Shenderovich, Russia’s pre-eminent political satirist, knew he had to move, to get his side of the story out before Moscow awoke to watch video of him, naked, hairy, and vulnerable, having sex with a young woman named Katya, already infamous for luring a who’s-who of the Russian opposition to her bugged apartment for kinky sex and drugs. Shenderovich had been anticipating this moment and now it had arrived, two days before his daughter’s wedding day.
Shenderovich, who says he is happily married, fessed up.
Yes, he wrote on his blog, “I fucked Katya.”
In any other country, the confession would have hit like a thunderclap. Sure, the first wave of the kompromat had already broken in March, when Mikhail Fishman, the editor-in-chief of the liberal Russian Newsweek, was caught on a clumsy Internet video cutting lines with a half-naked Katya, who apparently also went by Moomoo. The revelation prompted Ilya Yashin, an up-and-coming young opposition politician, and other opposition members to preemptively post their stories of being seduced by the same woman. Yashin, Fishman, and Dmitry Oreshkin, a liberal commentator, were also shown attempting to bribe traffic cops. But the resultant scandal — if one can call collective eye-rolling a scandal — focused entirely on the sloppy, dirty tactics used to entrap the young men, not on their behavior.
With Shenderovich, however, it might have been a different story. Shenderovich is, after all, nothing short of a Russian household name.
Read the rest here.
via Foreign Policy