A Moscow court on Thursday sentenced a railway worker to seven years in prison for online publications denouncing the Russian bombardment of Ukrainian cities.
Mikhail Simonov, 63, was delayed in the fall for posting anti-war comments on Russian social network Vkontakte in March.
“Killing children and women, we sing songs on Channel One [state TV]Simonov wrote. “We, Russia, have become godless. Forgive us, Lord!
Simonov also captioned a photo showing the ruins of the Mariupol Drama Theater with the phrase “Russian pilots bomb children.”
Moscow’s Timiryazevsky District Court found him guilty of spreading “false information” about the Russian military, Mediazona reported.
Investigators claimed that Simonov acted out of “political hatred” towards the Russian leadership and his “decision to use Russian armed forces to normalize the social and political situation in Ukraine”.
Last year, Russia criminalized the dissemination of information about the country’s military that deviates from the Kremlin’s narrative of what it calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.
While the new law provided for prison sentences of up to 15 years for publishing ‘knowingly false information’ about the military, the judge at Thursday’s hearing sentenced Simonov to a lenient sentence of seven years in prison.
Simonov’s defense argues that he expressed pacifist beliefs as a Christian.
more … than 500 people in Russia have faced criminal charges for making anti-war statements since Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine, according to human rights watchdog OVD-Info.