Influencer, 23, who filmed herself tickling breast of famous Russian war statue makes grovelling public apology as she faces five years in jail for the Instagram video in Putin’s hardline Russia

A Russian influencer who filmed herself tickling the chest of a famous Russian war statue has issued a cringeworthy public apology.

Alena Agafonova, 23, posed under the 279ft statue of a woman wielding a sword called The Motherland Calls in Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, scene of one of WW2’s most epic battles.

She now faces five years in prison for the Instagram video in Putin’s harsh Russia.

She appears to ‘tickle’ the figure’s right breast in footage she posted on Instagram, which is officially banned in Russia.

Agafonova went into hiding in Sri Lanka after the film was made last year.

She was placed on Russia’s wanted list and was held this week when she arrived back in her homeland.

The video shows Alena Agafonova apparently 'tickling' the figure's right breast in footage she posted on Instagram, which is officially banned in Russia

The video shows Alena Agafonova apparently ‘tickling’ the figure’s right breast in footage she posted on Instagram, which is officially banned in Russia

Agafonova was placed on Russia's wanted list and was held this week when she arrived in her home country (File photo)

Agafonova was placed on Russia’s wanted list and was held this week when she arrived in her home country (File photo)

Agafonova was immediately transported from Moscow to Volgograd and is now being held for two months pending further investigations.

She humbly apologized for her act, but still faces criminal prosecution in Volgograd and a sentence of up to five years.

She is accused of ‘desecration of a cemetery’ and ‘cynical actions that disregard the norms of morality’ as well as the ‘rehabilitation of Nazism’.

Her hunt shows the new morality in Russia under Putin amid the war with Ukraine.

Agafonova has humbly apologized for her act but still faces criminal prosecution in Volgograd and a sentence of up to five years

Agafonova has humbly apologized for her act but still faces criminal prosecution in Volgograd and a sentence of up to five years

The 279-foot statue of a woman wielding a sword called The Motherland Calls in Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, scene of one of WW2's most epic battles

The 279-foot statue of a woman wielding a sword called The Motherland Calls in Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, scene of one of WW2’s most epic battles

Agafonova posed under the statue.  She was placed on Russia's wanted list and was held this week when she arrived back in her homeland

Agafonova posed under the statue. She was placed on Russia’s wanted list and was held this week when she arrived back in her homeland

Alena Agafonova.  The 23-year-old went into hiding in Sri Lanka after the film was made last year

Alena Agafonova. The 23-year-old went into hiding in Sri Lanka after the film was made last year

The authorities crack down on any behavior seen as anti-patriotic or contrary to ‘traditional values’.

Footage shows Agafonova being handcuffed as a law enforcement officer told her: ‘I am informing you that the investigative department for the central district of Volgograd has a criminal case against you for desecrating a symbol of military glory of Russia, insult for the memory of defenders of the fatherland, committed with the use of the Internet…’

She appears to have been ordered to make a public apology, a growing trend in Putin’s repressive state with those defying the increasingly strict laws.

“I address all residents of Russia and Volgograd and ask everyone not to commit the acts I did last year because of my stupidity,” she said.

‘I didn’t even think I could hurt someone’s feelings.

“I ask all Russian citizens for forgiveness.”

Agafonova is led in handcuffs to the police station.  She is accused of 'desecration of a cemetery' and 'cynical actions that disregard the norms of morality' as well as the 'rehabilitation of Nazism'

Agafonova is led in handcuffs to the police station. She is accused of ‘desecration of a cemetery’ and ‘cynical actions that disregard the norms of morality’ as well as the ‘rehabilitation of Nazism’

Agafonova is escorted by officers.  Her hunt shows the new morality in Russia under Putin amid the war with Ukraine

Agafonova escorted by officers. Her hunt shows the new morality in Russia under Putin amid the war with Ukraine

Agafonova at the police station.  The authorities clamp down on any behavior seen as anti-patriotic or contrary to 'traditional values'

Agafonova at the police station. The authorities clamp down on any behavior seen as anti-patriotic or contrary to ‘traditional values’

The statue is one of the most famous in Russia and commemorates those who fought and died in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, which led to a decisive Soviet victory against Hitler.

The USSR suffered more than one million casualties during the Battle of Stalingrad, which lasted from August 1942 to February 1943.

Separately, a social activist Rasul Akhiyaretdinov called for Putin to cover up The Motherland Calls statue.

He was embarrassed by her ‘openly protruding nipples’ which he said meant ‘homosexual moments and a decline in morality’.

The statue, which dates back to the Soviet era in 1967, could be disturbing to both Orthodox and Muslim Russians, he said.

“It would be better if the Motherland was more covered,” Akhiyaretdinov said.

He plans to appeal to Putin to ask for a cover-up.

Earlier this week, two female influencers were forced to apologize over a lesbian kiss they posted on social media.

Vlada Alchaeva (24) and her friend Vika (19) were hunted by the police and will also face hefty fines for flouting laws banning LGBT ‘propaganda’.

The pair were told by police that they could ‘harm’ the psyche of minors who watched their video under draconian new laws.