Lawmakers have responded with anger and dismay to reports of an unprecedented number of couples caught on security cameras having sex in Zaryadye Park in Moscow.
Moscow’s chief architect noted the “unprecedented” uptick in public copulation at the park last week, which sits adjacent to the Kremlin and Red Square. Public copulation is an administrative offense punishable by a small fine and up to 15 days in jail.
Russia’s ultra-conservative Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov likened the couples to feral animals.
“People come to the park to rest and get peace of mind … but intercourse between these two rabbits violates the condition of that peace of mind,” Milonov was quoted as saying in the pro-Kremlin Izvestia daily.
Milonov suggested punishing some of the transgressors so that instead “they’d start going to Zaryadye to catch butterflies.”
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Local Moscow City Duma deputy Lyudmila Stebenkova, who had led a crackdown on a nudist park in Moscow in 2015, urged law enforcement to take action.
“There’s no need to do it in Zaryadye. Otherwise we will turn a normal park into some kind of obscene place,” Stebenkova was quoted as saying by the Govorit Moskva radio station.
Social media erupted with Zaryadye-themed jokes, while one Twitter user speculated that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s campaign for re-election may be behind the “viral” content.
Moscow City Hall’s regional security department promised to deploy extra security guards in Zaryadye Park.
“People are still having a peaceful time at the park, but we will act if we catch anyone,” the city’s head of security Vladimir Chernikov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.