Russian tourist, Iceland, north, Lake Mývatn, off-road, fine
Lake Mývatn in Iceland (photo: VisitNorthIceland)

Russian “influencer” illegally goes off-road in Iceland

A Russian “travel influencer” has come under fire after illegally driving off-road in Iceland, wrecking soil and plant life.

An Instagram “travel influencer” named Alexander Tikhomirov posted a picture of himself next to his rented Land Cruiser after it had become stuck when he drove it off-road.

The caption of the pic posted on his account with 300,000 followers read, “Congratulations, today I got a big fine.”

He had driven away from the road direct to his destination in an attempt to reach the volcanic Lake Mývatn in northern Iceland.

Such driving is illegal in Iceland because the sub-Arctic landscape of soil and plant life is easily damaged and takes decades to recover. Significant fines have been set by the country’s Nature Conservation Act for such behaviour, and Tikhomirov paid an ISK 450,000 (€3,200) fine for the incident.

Witnesses in the area called the police to report the man’s illegal activity, according to local media. The officers helped him get his car out and then took him in for questioning.

Icelanders have expressed outrage at Tikhomirov’s apparent lack of respect for Iceland’s fragile nature as well as its laws.

“This is incredibly disrespectful, after you got fined by the police for banned offroad driving you pose by the rental car at the scene. Shame on you,” one comment on the post reads.

Multiple comments questioned the driver’s intelligence and called for him never to be allowed to return. However, he seems to have little understanding of the locals’ reactions. He shared some comments criticising him, writing “why you guys so angry.”

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