Me Too movement spreads its wings in Russia

Moscow: After hitting India and China, Me Too movement has now reached Russia. The Soviet Union country saw its first resignation of a public figure over claims of sexual harassment.

On Friday, the Meduza news website announced its chief editor Ivan Kolpakov had stepped down following reports that he had sexually harassed a co-worker’s wife at a staff party.

“This is a milestone,” co-chair of the Russian Journalists and Media Workers Union Anton Karliner told The Moscow Times. “Of course this does not solve all of our problems, but the resignation is a good step.”

Kolpakov, who served as Meduza’s chief editor since 2016, reportedly groped a colleague’s wife at a party last month before telling her: “You’re the only one I can get away with harassing.”

Earlier this week, Meduza’s board of directors reinstated Kolpakov after he voluntarily stepped aside for two weeks.

The move drew accusations of hypocrisy in a #MeToo era that has largely been ignored or ridiculed in Russia, especially after Meduza’s CEO and media veteran Galina Timchenko jumped to Kolpakov’s defense.

“Those who look at themselves in the mirror and claim they have not made any mistakes or done anything nasty in their life are either liars or bastards,” she wrote on Facebook in support of Kolpakov.

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