Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia

A Russian official is in trouble after his wife’s twerking caused a massive traffic jam


Oksana Yakovleva, a 29-year-old amateur pop star who is perhaps better known by her stage name, Yaxana, shot a music video in the middle of Moscow’s Ring Road. Oksana Yakovleva/Instagram

And now, just for grins and giggles, unusual news from Moscow. 

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The best celebrity political scandal this week wasn’t about Taylor Swift or Kanye West.

If you thought the weirdest celebrity political news you’d read this week was Taylor Swiftendorsing Democratic candidates and possibly causing a sudden dramatic spike in voter registration, Kanye West saying “motherfucker” during a 10-minute stream-of-consciousness speech in the Oval Office, or Kid Rock standing beside the president of the United States as he signed new legislation, think again.

Over in Russia, a government official is in hot water this week after his wife shot a twerking music video in the middle of a busy highway in Moscow, sparking huge traffic delays and delaying ambulances.

Just take a minute to enjoy that sentence. It’s been a long week; you deserve this. We’ll wait.

Now watch the video:

That’s Oksana Yakovleva, a 29-year-old amateur pop singer who is perhaps better known by her stage name, Yaxana.

Yaxana is married to Moscow region legislative assembly deputy Alexei Yakovlev, who is a member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, according to the Moscow Times newspaper.

Over the weekend, Yaxana evidently decided to up her music video game by doing a shoot right smack in the middle of the incredibly busy Moscow Ring Road, the perpetually traffic-clogged 10-lane divided highway that encircles the Russian capital.

Daily traffic on the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD) in Moscow, Russia, on August 19, 2017. Heavy traffic, frequent road construction, and air pollution from heavy trucks and old, inefficient cars is a daily reality for many commuters.
Daily traffic on the Moscow Ring Road (MKAD) in Moscow on August 19, 2017.
 Maciej Moskwa/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The video, which she initially posted to her Instagram page then later took down, shows Yaxana and her two backup dancers in puffy white long-sleeved blouses tucked into skimpy red and black spandex bottoms, gyrating enthusiastically in front of a black SUV parked in the center lane as a camera operator films them. The whole group is seemingly oblivious to the cars and trucks attempting to maneuver around them.

However, it seems Yaxana and crew were nervous the whole time. “My cameraman was almost run over, it was scary,” Yakovleva wrote on her now-deleted Instagram post. “I still have the jitters.”

According to the Moscow Times, the Moscow police filed a traffic violation report against Yaxana on Friday over the incident, and Moscow City Hall’s traffic control center tweeted that the stunt had delayed several ambulances that were caught in the traffic jam.

The incident has also created an unwelcome headache for Yaxana’s politician husband. As the Moscow Times reports, Yakovlev told the state-funded Channel 5 on Thursday that he planned to “scold” Yaxana once he comes back from a trip. “I don’t need this PR. I think there are other more suitable places to film these kinds of performances,” he said.

But as the Moscow Times’s intrepid reporters discovered when going through Yaxana’s Instagram page, it seems Yakolev has actually joined his wife for middle-of-the-street dancing on previous occasions:

For her part, Yaxana says that despite all the furor, it was worth it for the sake of her pop music career. “The modern world of show business is so cruel that it’s almost impossible to get there without money and connections,” the singer told Russia’s Info Speed website. “I have neither.”

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