Popular Russian rapper faces 15 days in jail

MOSCOW — A popular Russian rapper is facing two weeks in jail for performing on a car after prosecutors banned his gig.

Husky, 25, has a wide following among young Russians with his videos scoring up to 6 million views on YouTube.

The rapper, known for his songs mocking authorities and police brutality, was due to perform in the southern city of Krasnodar when local prosecutors warned the venue that his act had elements of what they termed as "extremism." Russian authorities have in recent years used the vaguely worded law on extremism to go after Kremlin critics and dissenters.

Wednesday's gig in Krasnodar was moved to another club where the power was shut off, and Husky's fans poured outside. Videos posted online showed the rapper, whose real name is Dmitry Kuznetsov, reading his verses on top of a car with the fans chanting in unison.

Husky's lawyer Alexander Avanesyan said his client faces up to 15 days in prison for organizing an unauthorized gathering and disobeying police orders. The court hearing on his possible detention started Thursday afternoon.

Husky's black-and-white videos mock a political regime that expects tacit compliance from citizens. A new wave of Russian rap musicians is widely credited for channeling young Russians' frustration with the political system and lack of economic prospects.

Authorities in other Russian regions have also moved to banned Husky's gigs.

Husky said in a social media post last month that officials in several Russian cities are pressuring venues to shut down his shows because his songs allegedly offend Christian believers and promote promiscuity.

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