Russian Politician Wants Journalists Prosecuted for Sharing Footage of His Ricky Martin Dance

Orlov city councilman Konstantin Fedotov gets down and funky. Video: YouTube

Orlov city councilman Konstantin Fedotov gets down and funky. Video: YouTube

A city councilman in Orlov has filed a police report against local journalists for sharing video footage of him dancing to Ricky Martin’s “Livin la Vida Loca,” the news website TJournal reports.

Konstantin Fedotov, a member of the country’s ruling political party, United Russia, is asking state prosecutors to go after the Orlov News and Oryolgrad media outlets, which reported on an office party recently attended by Fedotov. The city councilman says the footage constitutes a violation of his privacy. Judging by the video, it seems possible that Fedotov was also quite drunk at the party.

The Oryolgrad news agency has already responded to Fedotov’s police appeal, saying it isn’t responsible for releasing the dance footage on YouTube. The agency also insists that there’s nothing inherently defamatory about the video:

На спорном видео все присутствующие были бодры, веселы и улыбались в кадре. В том числе и сам заявитель К.И. Федотов. Он явно был в приподнятом настроении. Редакция и не могла предположить, что «распространение данного видеоматериала произведено вопреки воле» этих счастливых лиц.

Композиция, под которую танцевал депутат и директор К.И. Федотов — «Livin la Vida Loca» за исполнением Рикки Мартина, — не является запрещенной на территории РФ. Призывов и иных жестов, разжигающих межнациональную или классовую рознь, К.И. Федотов не демонстрировал.

In the controversial video, everyone present [at the party] is cheerful, happy, and smiling on screen — including Mr. Konstantin Fedotov. He is very clearly in a good mood. Our editorial office could hardly conclude that the “dissemination of this video material was carried out against the will” of these happy characters.

The song Mr. Fedotov is dancing to — Livin la Vida Loca performed by Ricky Martin — is not banned in the Russian Federation. Mr. Fedotov hasn’t demonstrated any calls or other efforts to incite ethnic or class tension.

The video was filmed during a party at a local municipal unitary enterprise, where Fedotov is also the director. It was uploaded to YouTube on September 12.

Before turning to local police, Fedotov tried to convince federal censors to stop Internet users from disseminating the YouTube video. He failed in this earlier effort.

This isn’t the first time a Russian politician has been stung by a dance video filmed at a party. In April 2011, a video of then President Dmitry Medvedev leaked online, showing the commander in chief swinging his arms and strutting about somewhat effeminately to the song “American Boy” by the Russian pop group “Kombinatsia.”

The candid footage helped undermine Medvedev’s public image (not a difficult feat), and his time as president ended within a year.

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