Russia has always been such an open-minded place. A place where people can be who they want to be, love who they want to love, and get naked when they want to get naked. Moscow, in particular, has for as long as we can remember been a hotbed of chilled-out liberalism. A place for the hippies; a place to relax, kick back, and have a good time.
Wait. Which one’s Russia again?…Oh.
In news that probably won’t come as much of a surprise to people who are up to speed with right-wing politics in Russia, it’s come to light that government officials are currently trying to shut down a nudist beach in one of the capital’s parks.
Clothes-shy Russians have been getting their kit-off in Moscow’s Serebryany Bor for almost 30 years, but this adventurous practice might soon become a chapter for the history books. The campaign is being driven forward by Moscow City Duma deputy Lyudmila Stenbenkova. Stenbenkova has denounced the beach-goers as “depraved.”
“We can’t encourage vice. They’re completely out of their minds,” Stebenkova added.
Campaigns such as this reflect an increased enthusiasm for conservative values in the country. These ideas get woven into the fabric of society by Russia’s Orthodox Church. In May, a nudist beach on the outskirts of St Petersburg was shutdown by local power on the grounds it was deemed harmful to “public morality.” It had been open since the ’60s.
Vitaly Milonov, a controversial lawmaker known for his anti-LGBT views, had this to say when the nudist beach near St Petersburg shut: “We should protect our children from some old hairy pervert passing by.” Milonov was naked at the time of this quote (he wasn’t, but it feels good to take the piss out of silly old homophobes).
Stebenkova, who is a member of Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party, kicked off her anti-nudist campaign last week via her online blog on that internet-thingy-majig.
“Naked people have occupied the Strogino water meadow. Their shindigs often end in fights, drinking or sex in public. But the police can’t put a stop to this orgy because there are no laws regulating nudism,” Stebenkova wrote.
All those in favour of finding Stebenkova’s house, and dancing in the nude outside it, raise one hand into the air while protecting your modesty with the other. Just imagine how cross she’ll be when she looks out of the window and sees all that flesh on show. Comedy gold…am-I-right?!
There’s no way of verifying this, of course, but it’s widely believed that Stebenkova was born with clothes already on. This, as you can imagine, would have caught the medical staff at the time completely off guard. In all seriousness, whatever your views on nudity, this story looks set to run, and run, and run…like naked athletes at the first Olympics.