Russia Releases Blogger Detained After Sharing Controversial Video

Russian authorities have released a blogger who was detained after sharing a video that sparked claims that several law enforcement officials had attended the funeral of a local gang leader.

“I was released today, apparently because of a large public outcry,” Viktor Toroptsev wrote on the VKontakte social network on January 13.

Toroptsev was detained in the city of Amursk, in the Far Eastern region of Khabarovsk, for allegedly carrying an invalid driving license.

Calling his detention illegal, the blogger said he was being targeted for sharing the video on YouTube on January 8 and declared a hunger strike.

There has been no official comment about the blogger’s detention.

In the video posted on YouTube and shared by Toroptsev, a female voice says the footage shows the funeral procession of Yury Zarubin, who is known by the nickname Zaruba and was buried in Amursk on January 8.

Some viewers commented that several police officers and employees of the prosecutor's office attended the funeral.

The video also appeared on a Twitter account, which claimed the city prosecutor and the police chief were among the pallbearers.

Authorities have denied that any law enforcement officials were present at the funeral but said they were probing the allegations.