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Pair of Russian military servicemen arrested after viral video shows them washing their shoes with holy water

Pair of Russian military servicemen arrested after viral video shows them washing their shoes with holy water
A criminal case has been opened in the western Russian city of Kaliningrad after two servicemen from the Baltic fleet were filmed washing their shoes with holy water, after a clip of them caught in the act went viral.

According to the Kaliningrad garrison’s military investigation department, both suspects are natives of Dagestan, a Caucasian republic on the southern border of Russia. One of the accused is a conscript soldier, and the other is a contract employee, Interfax reported.

They were arrested on charges of insulting the feelings of religious believers, at the city's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

In the video, one of the men is heard saying “this is holy water for them.” Dagestan is a majority Muslim region of Russia, whereas Kaliningrad is mainly Orthodox Christian.

Following the recording, one of the participants apologized for the incident, claiming that they did not know that it was “such serious water.” After the apology, the Kaliningrad diocese indicated that it doesn’t wish for the culprits to be jailed, explaining that they have already been sufficiently punished by the strong public reaction to their video.

Also on rt.com Ticked off over TikTok stunt: Russian teen faces jail after lighting cigarette in church with candle, Bishop asks for mercy

Russia’s controversial law against “insulting people’s religious feelings” was passed in 2013, after the feminist protest punk rock band Pussy Riot played music inside Moscow’s main cathedral. In 2016, the law made international headlines after YouTube blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky was arrested for playing the then-popular game Pokemon GO in a church in Ekaterinburg. Last month, the country’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against an 18-year-old after he lit a cigarette with a church candle and filmed it for TikTok.

Also on rt.com Duma approves criminalization of insulting religious feelings

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