Bears in a Honey Trap

Katya, aka "Moomoo"

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

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One Response to Bears in a Honey Trap

  1. Philipp Churilov says:

    Julia,

    You’re shaping into a great journalist… for a tabloid or similarly “yellow” media.

    You are good at presenting a coherent story in a, erm, coherent way.

    The problem is, you ignore research.

    I beleive you speak Russian perfectly, so serfing the RuNet for info is not a problem. But you don’t do that. Why?

    You would have learned many things:

    That the “what, it’s totally okay to fuck models the age of your daughter, snort coke and then pretend everything is OK”-attitude is BUT ONE of many, and a pretty disgusting one.

    That the relation of a great chunk of Internet users, incl. bloggers and users of social networks, is more like “these amoral liberal motherf**kers want to teach us how to live?!.”

    That while consuming drugs is not part of Penal Code (it’s in Administrative Code), those who do that and are caught usually end up in the register of nearby Narcology Dispancer (sort of a medicinal service) and\or can have their employers warned about it, which frequently means they get fired. Also, selling drugs is illegal, so the caught ones are usually offered to tell the name of the seller – and non-cooperation here can be interpreted as “hiding a criminal”, which is in Penal Code with all the consequences. It’s NOT OKAY to snort coke, period.

    That while there are dishonorable liberal scum who say that cheating on wives is normal and everyone does that (what, free love is liberal all the way), it’s better not to extrapolate it on the whole country. These people contribute to the moral degradation, so they by no means can be justified.

    That if you read carefully blogs and commentaries (preferably by those unengaged in the conflict), you’d see that the dominant opinion is neither “he’s THE MAN!” nor “he’s an amoral bastard” (a “great chunk” is still not “most users”). It is “whoah, our petty liberal opposition is out of their skin to get a scandal going after fucking a model and getting caught on camera, poor souls”.

    As a second thought, you get paid exactly for the content you deliver.

    Maybe research on the topic is not your priority.

    If so, disregard what I said.

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