Apr 21, 2023, 11:54am EDT

Russia slaps $500 fine on elderly woman for complimenting Zelenskyy's looks

Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto

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A 70-year-old Russian woman was reportedly fined 40,000 rubles ($490) this week for complimenting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's looks.

Last December, Olga Slegina was overheard calling the president "a handsome young man" while talking to a friend in a medical center, according to Russian human rights group Memorial Center. She also said that Zelenskyy, who was formerly an actor and comedian, had a "good sense of humor."

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Three people reportedly complained to the police that Slegina had "praised" Zelenskyy. She defended herself saying that the conversation had only been focused on his appearance. According to the Memorial Center article, the policeman told her, "You have no right to praise him because he is our enemy."

Slegina was later arrested for breaking Russia's censorship law, which bars people from "discrediting" the Russian Armed Forces and its operations.

During a 5-minute court session on Tuesday, the court slapped the fine on her.

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  • After Russia invaded Ukraine last year, Vice wrote about how the 45-year-old president had emerged as an unexpected sex symbol of the internet, with many confessing to have a "full-scale" crush on the leader. Critics urged Zelenskky stans to stop treating war like a reality show, with one person calling the phenomenon "the yassification of armed conflict."

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