‘Turning 14? Now you’re criminally liable’ – Moscow Investigative Committee’s bizarre video warning
Russian social media users were flabbergasted on February 18 by an unusual video published by the Moscow Investigative Committee: “Turning 14? Now you’re criminally liable”
This time, the heated discussions did not revolve around the wave of arrests and criminal cases that followed the detention of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Instead, Russian Twitter was buzzing about a controversial video that the Committee published on its website, in which law enforcement authorities filmed a special birthday message to all those turning 14 – a message that explains exactly which criminal offenses can now land them in prison.
The video starts with a woman in uniform holding a birthday cake with lit candles, congratulating all those turning the age of criminal liability.
“Of course, your parents are still responsible for you, but from this age, you bear criminal liability under certain articles of the Criminal Code”, the officer explains.
The supposedly teenage-friendly video then goes on to show several law enforcement agents explaining that from now on, as a 14-year-old, one can be prosecuted for murder, rape, robbery, extortion, terrorism, and taking hostages.
“Now that you have grown, you should know that you will be punished for rape and sexual assault”, explains another officer in the video.
On top of that, a little police emoji in the corner informs of the exact article of the Criminal Code addressing each of the mentioned crimes.
The video ends with the Investigative Committee reminding 14-year-olds that ‘their life is their responsibility and ‘wishes them a happy birthday.’
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The video became viral on Russian social media almost immediately, and people took it to Twitter to explain how confused they were about the eerie birthday message:
“Is this a prank?”
“Just saw that this has to be the most bizarre video that the Russian Investigative Committee ever released”.
Some humored the video by referring to Winnie The Pooh. The text in Russian below reads: “Shoot, Piglet!”, to which WTP responds, “But I’m already 14!”.
Others shared how their own 14-yeard old siblings reacted to the birthday message:
“My brother did not appreciate it :(“,reads a caption to the screenshot of the user’s younger brother responding with a mere “f*ck them”.
Navalny’s team in Samara expressed their hope that the children “will not be gifted a free tour around the prisons, as a follow up to the birthday message”:
However, the video did get some positive feedback too, as the spokesperson of the Moscow Department of Social Security ( which participated in the creation of the video), Natalia Tsymbalenko, praised her “colleagues” for using “an unorthodox approach that will allow more people to learn about criminal liability and teach their children about it”.
The full transcript of the video can be found below:
00.02 [words on screen] The Investigative Committee wishes you a happy birthday
0.03. Did you turn 14?
0.07. Of course, your parents are still responsible for you
0.09. But from this age, you bear criminal liability under certain articles of the Criminal Code
0.16 From this day onwards, you yourself will be held responsible for committing murder or injury to [one’s] health
0.23 as well as for the theft crimes, such as theft, looting, robbery, hijacking, and extortion
0.31 you will face serious punishment for terrorism and hostage-taking
0.35 now that you have grown, you should know that you will be punished for rape and sexual assault
0.41 hooliganism, vandalism, destruction of someone’s property – you will be held responsible for all of those [actions] too
00.48 Your life is your main priority.
00.51 [ words on screen] Your life is your responsibility! The Investigative Committee wishes you a happy birthday.