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A British-Russian playwright has spoken out against the Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of approving the release of a sex tape six years after she was publicly shamed.
The Kremlin became engulfed in a scandal in April 2016 when footage was released showing former Russian prime minister Mikhail Kasyanov and his partner Natalia Pelevine having sex in their private apartment.
The pair – who were vocal critics of the Putin regime – were in a relationship and had not intentionally recorded the footage.
Now, Natalia, who is a playwright, has reflected on the incident and claimed that the despot must have been behind the attack while speaking on the Taking on Putin podcast with journalist John Sweeney.
Natalia was born in Russia but moved to the UK at an early age and went on to study at a London university.
She went on to become a vocal critic of Putin’s Kremlin regime through her plays, which were often banned before they were even able to be performed in her home country.
So, when the X-rated footage was released, Natalia quickly blamed the Russian president.
“In 2016 a film came out on a Russian propaganda channel about myself and former Russian prime minister [Mikhail Kasyanov] where they showed us in a very personal way,” she remembered.
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“The film showed us in the bedroom of the apartment that we shared at the time, and the camera was planted in the wall of this private apartment… It showed us very graphically.”
Looking back to her time arriving in Russia as a critic of Putin in 2012, Natalia admitted that she hadn’t expected the leader come after her personally, but claimed that he had been behind the sex tape being released.
“We didn’t know that Vladimir Putin would become so monstrous that I would end up being shown on television naked, having sex,” she said.
“We think that Putin agreed to this. He had to have a say in it because Mr Kasyanov is not only a former prime minister, he was Putin’s first prime minister, they worked together. So for FSB to go and do this without his okay would have been impossible.
“In all likelihood he didn’t come up with the idea, but when the idea was offered to him, he agreed to it.”
The Russian President and the country’s authorities have never acknowledged the truth of Natalie’s allegations.
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- Vladimir Putin
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