VLADIMIR Putin has been slammed for inviting sexy Instagram "influencers" to a massive parade marking the Soviet Union's World War Two victory over the Nazis.

A row erupted when invitations were sent to models known for sharing scantily-clad photos – rather than to war veterans who put their lives on the line.

Sasha Markina, 26, proudly boasted about her invite to the Red Square event known as the Victory Day parade – posting it on her racy social media.

But this prompted a media outcry and online criticism over tickets for "Insta-Babes".

One web news outlet thundered: “Instead of veterans invitations to the Victory Day parade are sent to Instagram models."

“Markina was invited to Victory Day parade instead of veterans,” added Express Gazeta.

But Sasha denied media claims that she was an “escort” as well as a model,  and another that she was the lover of a top official.

She insisted: “My boyfriend invited me to the parade, not the government.”

Sasha said her presence on Red Square for the prestigious event – the most sacred day in the Moscow calendar with 13,000 Russian troops marching – “is not related to my Instagram in any way.”

Her boyfriend, Andrei Kupreev, is the son of a veteran of the Soviet War in Afghanistan.

Model Elena Iosifova – believed to be in her late 20s and boasting 87,800 Instagram followers – also had a prominent seat at the parade.

Mur Telegram channel complained: “Another Instagram-model got an invitation for the Victory Day parade, Elena Iosifova.

“This madness cannot be explained by anything.”


Meanwhile, in recent days Rain TV highlighted the case of war veteran Maria Kashtanova, 93, who has continually been denied a ticket for the annual Moscow Victory Day parade, despite it being her dream to attend.

She said: “I would have loved to see the parade. I always watch on TV but I have never seen it live.”

Maria lost her dad in the war and she was captured in Königsberg – now Kaliningrad – and forced to work in a Nazi labour camp.

She said: “I was in a sewing workshop. If someone made a mistake they had a whip, they [would] hit you.”

However, after a scandal over why Maria was snubbed yet again, a kind-hearted, anonymous donor found her a ticket and the war veteran is believed to have travelled to Moscow to watch the annual event.

Nikolai Royanov, assistant to the chairman of Russian Veterans Union, said tickets were allocated by Putin’s administration.

“We provide them with lists and they decide who gets it.”


Elena made clear she had watched the parade with her medal-bedecked grandma who was a veteran.

She said her ticket had come from politician Alexander Dvorkin, 31, vice-president of the Russian Unifight Federation.

“Only close people know how much she means to me,” said Elena of her grandmother.

Fellow Insta-model Sasha has hit out at the stinging criticism she has copped over the debacle.

Claiming her invitation was genuine, she said: “I want to apologise to all my friends and subscribers who watched all this filth and scandal with me developed by the self-proclaimed media and tabloids.

“They call me ‘Insta-babe’ and an ‘escort’, (and) mock my boyfriend who's developing sport among children all over Russia.

Reports also criticised a parade ticket being offered to Liya Diyanova, who runs a beauty parlour brand.

She closed her Instagram after the outcry.

President Vladimir Putin watched intercontinental nuclear missile launchers roll across Red Square today as Russia put on its annual show of military might to mark the Soviet Union's World War Two victory over the Nazis.

He looked on as thousands of troops marched past, and columns of tanks rumbled across the famous square in a display reminiscent of the Cold War era, reports Reuters.

Putin, who remains in power until 2024, reviewed the parade from a tribune packed with Soviet war veterans, some of whom wore rows of campaign medals and clutched red roses.

The Kremlin said it had not invited foreign heads of state but next year's 75th anniversary would be marked with greater pomp as a major milestone.

Authorities, backed by state media, use the annual event to boost patriotic feeling at home.

Weapons displayed on Red Square included Russia's Yars mobile intercontinental nuclear missile launcher and its advanced S-400 air defence missile system, which Moscow has deployed in Syria to protect its forces.


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