Cyberbullies go after Miss Russia
March 6, 2013
While February saw cyberbullying in Canada against tennis player Rebecca Marino, March has only underscored the international nature of this problem. 18-year-old Elmira Abdrazakova was crowned Miss Russia 2013 on March 2 and has since become a victim of the trend.
Abdrazakova is a student at the Siberian Railway University from Mezhdurechensk City and, like many teenagers, has an account on a social networking site called Vkontakte, or VK. Unfortunately for Abdrazakova, her account settings left her personal page accessible to all users and within hours of her victory, her inbox was flooded by hundreds of messages. She has since shut down her account, explaining to the Russian News Service that the measure was "to avoid further provocations."
So far, the harrassment has come largely in the form of ethnic slurs. The daughter of a Russian mother and Tartar father, Abdrazakova is the first Miss Russia since 2004 with prominent Tartar heritage. The negative response may be based in more than race, as the winner of Miss Russia 2004, Diana Zaripova, didn't see such a negative reaction.
Regardless of the rising nationalist sentiment in Russia, Abdrazakova will continue to represent Russia in the Miss World and Miss Universe competitions.