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Russian vlogger plays Pokemon Go in church, faces 5 years in prison

Authorities in Russia say Ruslan Sokolovsky is under nvestigation for "incitement of hatred" after he posted a video on YouTube of himself playing the popular game.

YouTube screenshot by Daniel Van Boom/CNET

Russian vlogger Ruslan Sokolovsky is facing five years in prison after posting a video on YouTube last month of himself playing Pokemon Go in church.

Sokolovsky, who is in his early 20s, posted the video on August 11. With more than 1 million views so far, the video was shot in Yekaterinburg's Church of All Saints as his response to news that people catching Pokemon in churches could be fined or imprisoned.

On Saturday, the Investigative Committee of Russia issued a statement that the Sokolovsky has been accused of "incitement of hatred or hostility, and humiliation of human dignity."

Sokolovsky will be detained until November 1, while the case is under investigation.

"The penalty for the most serious of these offences is...up to 5 years in prison," the statement reads.

Sokolovsky is far from the only person to face trouble for playing Pokemon Go. A truck driver in Japan hit two women while allegedly playing the game at the wheel. Before that, a New York driver ran into a tree while trying to catch 'em all.

Pokemon Go has been banned at sites around the world, including a Cambodian genocide museum, an ancient Japanese shrine and the entire nation of Iran.

Yevgeny Roizman, mayor of Yekaterinburg, is against imprisonment.

"He was 22 years old, lives alone with his mother, an invalid. This is savagery," the mayor wrote in a Facebook post. "You cannot be arrested for human stupidity [or] bad manners."

(Via The Guardian)