Sergei Ivanov, chief of staff for the Russian presidential administration, told reporters Monday he has “nothing against twerking” but the hip-thrusting dance can be done in an “unethical” way.
Ivanov is a former deputy prime minister in the cabinet of President Vladimir Putin. He made the statement in response to recent controversy over a YouTube video of young women twerking in front of a giant World War II memorial.
The 18 year old who uploaded the video was sentenced to 15 days’ imprisonment, two were given 10 days and two others were fined. Since the sixth was a minor under 16 years old, her mother was punished instead. Their official charge was “mild hooliganism.”
The monument, in the far-southwestern city of Novorossiysk, is an imposing modernist-style triangular arch that features a larger-than-life statue of sailors. It commemorates the Soviet naval landing at Malaya Zemlya, which helped liberate Novorossiysk from Nazi occupiers.
The Soviet Union’s civilian sacrifices and military triumphs in World War II are a persistent source of pride for Russians, and one which is often used by Russian officials for political gain. The May 9 Victory Day celebration is one of the country’s most significant civil holidays, marked with parades and fireworks.
Ivanov’s full statement, as quoted by government-owned TASS News Agency, was that “I have nothing against twerking, since I often see this among cheerleaders at basketball games, which I enjoy. But in the given instance, the choice of location was incorrect and unethical.”
The incident comes soon after another Russian twerking firestorm, in which a group of teenage dance students’ bizarre performance — depicting either bumblebees or rump-shaking Russian patriots — sparked an official government investigation of “depraved acts.”
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