Things are not looking up for the blogger found guilty of playing Pokemon GO in a Russian church, who not long ago was sentenced to over two years of prison time. This week, the blogger, Ruslan Sokolovsky was added to a list of current terrorists and extremists with the Kurgansk region.
Initially thought to be a small faux pas in a place of worship, the Russian blogger has now faced more trouble than any could have imagined. Being arrested for the act was bad enough, but then a prison sentence (which has since been suspended in lieu of probation) and a terrorist label have pushed things to new lows for him.
Information is limited regarding Sokolovsky’s predicament, but his lawyer did confirm that the notorious Pokemon GO blogger is now on a list of 7,524 people, of which he is number 5,874. On top of that, one of Sokolovsky’s lawyers claims that all of his bank accounts were blocked as a result of this latest development. It’s unclear if those bank accounts will ever be cleared or if Sokolovsky has a chance to get his name removed from the terror list, but it’s still relatively early.
For those that may not have been keeping op with the ongoing saga of the Russian Pokemon GO blogger, it’s quite the story. Sokolovsky first fell into trouble after filming himself playing Pokemon GO in the Church of All Saints in Yekaterinburg. The church itself is somewhat of a sacred place for Russians, and so they didn’t take too kindly to Sokolovsky filming his blasphemous act. It’s much more extreme than some American parks blocking the use of Pokemon GO in their boundaries, and now Sokolovsky is facing the repercussions of his actions.
In total, Sokolovsky was found guilty of several crimes including inciting hatred, insulting religious believers, and illegal trafficking of electronic equipment. We’re not sure how much of that is true and how much is legal speak meant to punish someone for improper actions in a church, but the punishment is very real.
At first, Sokolovsky was given a 3 and a half year suspended sentence, but he was able to commute it down to 2 years and 3 months. That’s still a long time for playing Pokemon GO in a church, but there is clearly a cultural gap here that isn’t going to be easy to understand. It only makes it worse that he is now labeled a terrorist.
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android devices.