A comedian Alexander Dolgopolov has temporarily left Russia after police opened an investigation of his performances in which he insulted Jesus and the Orthodox Christian Church, Reuters reported.
Leonid Solovyov, Dolgopolov’s lawyer, told media that the police investigation into his client was linked to a complaint that his jokes had offended religious beliefs.
“He has decided to leave Russia for security reasons,” Solovyov said, adding that the situation was temporary.
In Russia, it is illegal to insult the feelings of religious believers online and in public place.
“They are clearly not looking for me because they are big fans of my work,” Dolgopolov, who left Russia on Thursday morning, said in a video posted on his YouTube channel. “I’m very frightened... I’m sure that problems are beginning for me.”
According to media reports, Dolgopolov’s manager, Armen Gandilyan, told Russian media that all his performances would be cancelled until his legal situation was clarified.
Comedian Alexander Dolgopolov this week posted a picture of an Interior Ministry notice sent to St. Petersburg’s HopHead Tap Room, where he performed last February, that asked the establishment to provide information about him.