Indonesia To Deport Russian Social Media Star

DENPASAR, Indonesia (AP) – Indonesia on Sunday announced the deportation of a Russian social media star after he held a party at a luxury hotel on the resort island of Bali that was attended by more than 50 people, despite the restrictions to combat coronavirus infections.

The party held on January 11 violated the health protocol established to curb infections, said Jamaruli Manihuruk, head of the Bali regional office of the Ministry of Human Rights Law.


Sergei Kosenko, who has more than 4.9 million followers on his Instagram account, arrived in Indonesia in October on a tourist visa. Immigration authorities in Bali decided to investigate his activities in December, after he shared a video on social media in which he was seen jumping with a motorcycle into the sea from a dock, with a female passenger in the back. Many Indonesians called the scene reckless and possibly harmful to the environment.

The immigration investigation concluded that Kosenko had participated in activities that violated his tourist visa, such as promoting companies and products.

After his deportation was announced, Kosenko told reporters at the Bali immigration office that he was sorry.

“I love Bali. I’m sorry and I apologize, ”Kosenko said.

Indonesia deported an American living in Bali a few days earlier due to her viral tweets celebrating the island as an affordable and “friendly” place for non-heterosexual people, where Westerners could settle. In justifying his deportation, the authorities indicated that his posts “spread information of concern to the public.”

Indonesia has temporarily restricted the entry of foreigners since January 1 to control the spread of COVID-19, and public activity has been restricted on the islands of Java and Bali.

A total of 162 foreign nationals were deported from Bali in 2020 and 2021, according to the Bali regional office of the Ministry of Law and Human Rights. Most were expelled for violating the terms of their visitor visa.