A Russian tourist who was fined 450,000 ISK (£2,863) for off-road driving in Iceland has responded to criticism.
Alexander Tikhomirov, an Instagram influencer, was fined after leaving a marked road during a drive around Mývatn in Iceland.
In an Instagram story, shared with his 324,000 followers, he has since hit back at “local people” who threw plastic bottles at his car after seeing what he’s done.
“You guys think that I’m animal? I think you guys are animals, who’s doing that,” he wrote.
Off-road driving is illegal in Iceland, on account of the damage it does to the environment.
“Icelandic nature is extra fragile as the seasons change quite dramatically and changes in temperatures are common,” reads the country’s tourism website.
“By uprooting or driving on moss, damage is caused that can take nature decades to repair!”
However, Tikhomirov claims in his Instagram story, “no one told me that off road is unlegal [sic].”
What’s more, there were “no signs”, he adds.
In addition to the hefty fine and bottle-throwing from disgruntled Icelandic locals, Tikhomirov has also received a backlash from his social media followers.
Four days ago, he posted a series of picture of himself in front of his 4x4 vehicle, which also showed the track marks it had left behind in the surrounding terrain.
“Congratulations, today I got a tidy sum and almost finished our trip on the second day,” he wrote in Russian.
His followers were less than sympathetic.
“I suggest you remove these photos. Then apologise. And then leave the country as soon as possible. You are very obviously not welcome anymore,” wrote one.
“Really disrespectful. Shame on you!,” said another.
A third comment read: “You’re no longer welcome in Iceland. Not to mention that this is illegal, your disrespect is ruining for other tourists.”
Tikhomirov isn’t the first tourist to be branded disrespectful.
Last December, English model Rhian Sugden was accused of insensitivity for taking a selfie at a Holocaust memorial in Berlin — which, to make matters worse, she then captioned with a joking reference to the film ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’.