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Beaten, deported, prosecuted: Russia charges Moldovan TikToker who pledged to buy drones for AFU with defamation

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Russia has launched criminal proceedings against Moldovan social media star Nikolai Lebedev (better known by the moniker Nekoglai), who was deported from Moscow to his home country last November. Nekoglai is accused of defaming Ekaterina Mizulina, the head of Russia’s “Safe Internet League”, who reported the initiation of the case on her Telegram channel.

“Due to spreading blatant lies and slander about my activities and the work of the Safe Internet League, as well as the subsequent death threats against me, the Department of Internal Affairs of Russia in Moscow opened a criminal case against blogger Nikolai Lebedev under Article 128.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Slander”),” Mizulina said.

According to Mizulina, she has already been summoned for questioning in the case.

Nikolai Lebedev was detained in Moscow on November 9 last year and charged with the violation of migration laws. A court then fined the blogger and ordered his deportation from Russia. After spending close to two weeks at the Center for the Temporary Detention of Foreign Citizens in Sakharovo, Nekoglai left for Moldova. Shortly before his detention, Ekaterina Mizulina reported the blogger to the police over a TikTok video in which he parodied a Russian soldier in a trench.

Having fled to safety, Nekoglai published a video stating that Russia’s security services had tortured and humiliated him after his arrest. The blogger detailed the torture he experienced at the police station: security officers had stripped him naked, beat him, raped him with a plastic bottle, pulled out his hair and shaved his head.

Later, Nekoglai pledged to buy $100,000 worth drones for the Ukrainian army and promised to “fight the Russian regime.”

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