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This Video Of Schoolgirls Twerking Is Tearing Russia Apart

The Russian government has launched an official inquiry into a racy performance by several Russian high school girls, sparking a debate over the country’s moral values.

The controversy began in the city of Orenburg, where girls in a local dance school gave a dance performance based on the Russian version of Winnie the Pooh, but involving a different kind of honey. During the performance, the dancers twerk with an energy that would put a Miley Cyrus backup dancer to shame, which has caused many Russians to attack the performance as lewd and even pornographic in nature.

The video of the performance was posted on Sunday, and almost instantly sparked a furious national controversy involving bloggers, journalists, and ultimately the police. In the handful of days since, the dance school responsible has been shut down and the regional Investigative Committee is conducting an investigation into whether staff at the school committed criminal negligence or indecency by using dancers younger than 18.

Pavel Astakhov, a Russian politician appointed as the country’s Children’s Rights Commissioner, used Twitter to condemn the performance as “vulgar” and “insulting,” a sentiment that has been shared by other commentators in the country.

The controversy is heightened by the fact that video first appeared on Youtube on Orthodox Easter, offending the sensibilities of Russia’s resurgent church. Not only that, but the performers’ orange and black outfits (supposed to represent honeybees) are the same colors as Russia’s St. George Ribbon, one of the country’s premier military decorations and also the colors of Vladimir Putin’s United Russia Party, giving a possible political dimension to the dispute.

According to The Moscow Times, the dance school has claimed there was no political intent behind the performance, and it has also complained that the video was put online without the knowledge or permission of either the school or the dancers.

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