Russia’s MPs mock #METoo Movement

MOSCOW- Sofia Rusova was a young political journalist in a provincial Russian city when a lawmaker pursued her with sexual text messages, staked her out and even assaulted her near her apartment.

She said, “I was in shock and for some time I couldn’t walk the streets alone.”

“Some people who heard my story saw it as a funny adventure and told me I should be happy to be an object of such interest.”

Sadly she knew from experience that the police would not act if she pressed charges against her attacker and most of her colleagues did not take the situation seriously.

She decided to pursue a different route, she asked her father to confront the lawmaker and the pressure easied.

In Russia sexual harassment is viewed as a joke rather than a problem, the #MeToo movement has swept across western countries but has barely made a difference in Russia.

Three women have publicly accused senior lawmaker Leonid Slutsky of kissing and groping them but they were accused of undermining his career for political reasons and being anti-Russian.

One of the accusers Daria Zhuk said,”You tried to force kisses on me, to touch me, you were rude and pushy,”  said in a video appeal to Slutsky last week. “You still deny it?”

Russian lawmakers have used social media to rubbish the allegations, one said, “Attempts to make Slutsky into a Russian Harvey Weinstein look like a cheap and crude provocation… and are bound to fail,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

A Russian lawmaker Anton Morozov went as far as to say the women were actors into a conspiracy, he said, “Perhaps Russian journalists received an order from the West to compromise him.”

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