"I didn't plan to be persecuted simply for joking," he said.
Aleksandr Dolgopolov, a 25-year-old Russian comedian, made some jokes about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Christianity during a stand-up performance last year. Dolgopolov says he has now fled Russia over fears for his safety.
In a show he did at amall bar in St Petersburg 12 months ago, Dolgopolov joked about Putin and his supporters:
"Our population has split into two camps. On one hand there are those who support Putin; on the other, there are those who can read, write, and reach logical conclusions."
Ouch. Then he insulted the Virgin Mary and Christianity -- and there are laws against blasphemy in Russia, so this was a big deal.
Dolgopolov told reporters he learned that police were investigating footage from his stand-up act.
More from BBC News:
Authorities said they had received a complaint that Dolgopolov had been "insulting the feelings of believers".
The interior ministry in Moscow confirmed police were investigating.
"Police officers are conducting an audit, the results of which will be decided in accordance with the law," the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Dolgopolov posted a photo on Instagram along with the caption: "We arrived! We are safe, bye. Thanks for the support!"
READ MORE:Russian comedian who joked about President Putin flees country [bbc.com, JAN. 23 2020]
SCREENGRAB: Aleksandr Dolgopolov, Stand-Up Club #1, YouTube
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Ребята, я вас всех поздравляю, мы сделали это! Моя карьера вышла на новый уровень - два года назад на меня охотились деревенские гопники, теперь охоту открывает целое государство, вау! Вот такое замечательное уведомление пришло в петербургский стендап-клуб, из чего можно сделать вывод, что Россия все еще на пути к бездонной пропасти безумия. Хорошего вечера, буду держать в курсе, надеюсь не придётся прятаться в лесу