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Trial Begins for Russian Blogger Who Played Pokemon Go in a Church

News Brief

The trial of 22-year-old blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky began yesterday in Yekaterinburg. Sokolovsky is accused of extremism and offending religious believers for uploading a video of himself playing Pokemon Go in one of Yekaterinburg’s main cathedrals.

Sokolovsky’s Pokemon video and subsequent arrest has made him an internet celebrity and continues to fuel discussion in Russia over how people should behave on social media.

“Ruslan didn’t offend anyone with anything. He simply expressed his opinion with words,” Sokolovsky’s mother told Coda in the first installment of Jailed for a Like, a video series that tracks cases of Russians imprisoned for their activity on social media.

“He was shocked that for some cartoon you can be jailed or fined 500,000 rubles [$8,390].”

Sokolovsky’s blog and other popular social media accounts continue to be updated, yesterday with a video of the day’s trial.