Allegedly undocumented Russians in Bali are getting cheekily called out by this Instagram account

Screenshots from Instagram/@moscow_cabang_bali
Screenshots from Instagram/@moscow_cabang_bali

With 212 posts and counting since Feb. 10, a fresh community Instagram account is taking over online discourse in Bali recently.

Its niche? The account seems to have been launched with the explicit purpose of calling out Russian nationals (as well as a smattering of foreigners from other countries here and there) who are working illegally and/or have been misbehaving in Bali.

@moscow_cabang_bali roughly translates to Bali being a chapter or extension of the Russian capital. The account describes itself as a provider of “free marketing service” to micro, small, and medium enterprises — a sarcastic dig at Russians making a living in Bali without the proper documents.

From freelance photographers to yogis to tattoo artists to vocal coaches to property agents dealing in rubles, alleged illegal workers are being named and shamed by the account with incredible regularity. Much of its content is crowdsourced.

One pinned post shows that people in Bali are starting to catch wind of what @moscow_cabang_bali is up to, with one Russian national warning those who are working without the appropriate permits to either stop or be more discrete in their activities.

Of course, there is the occasional post about good old misbehaving foreigners.

The account has even engaged with Russians who accuse it of inciting racism and hatred. It has always cheekily dodged the accusations, maintaining that it is merely a free marketing service.

We have reached out to @moscow_cabang_bali for comment, as we are curious as to why it almost exclusively calls out Russians. A recent post by another account and shared by @moscow_cabang_bali seems to suggest that there is acknowledgement of things getting out of hand, and that the true solution was to put pressure on the authorities who have long turned a blind eye to foreigners — Russian or otherwise — tainting life on the island.

“I’m all for jokes and memes but this anti-Russian rhetoric is getting pretty weird, people being so angry and absolutist against a whole entire race,” the post’s caption reads.

“Bali has been taken advantage of for a long long time, yes the day to day behaviour of some Russian’s maybe quite brazen. But is it really worse than the Aussie schoolies off their head making a mess while partying in Kuta or the businesses which have caused a looming environmental water and waste disaster?

“Bali has many problems and hating on some annoying Russians are not the key to solving it, put pressure on those in power if you want to see true change.”

In its bio, @moscow_cabang_bali pasted a link to Lapor!, an online platform for public complaints.

Immigration officials say over 58,000 Russians arrived in Bali last year. In January of this year alone, Bali saw more than 22,500 arrivals from Russia.

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Editor’s note: We previously attributed to the last Instagram post to @moscow_cabang_bali, whereas in fact the account merely shared another account’s post. We have corrected this mistake and we apologize for the error.


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