Russian soldiers near destroyed residential buildings in Ukraine's North Donetsk, July 12, 2022.
Moscow – A Russian court sent Dmitriy Ivanov, a student and administrator of the “Protesting MGU” Telegram channel, to prison for more than eight and a half years. It found him guilty of spreading “false information” about the Russian military due to his contributions regarding Russian attacks on Ukrainian cities. The BBC reported about it today on its Russian-language website and the Reuters agency.
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The court sentenced Ivanov to eight years and six months behind bars and also banned him from managing the website for four years, according to Russian state news agency TASS. The prosecution asked for nine years in prison for the student. Authorities opened criminal proceedings against Ivanov last summer and have held him in custody ever since.
The twenty-three-year-old student pleaded not guilty. In his closing speech, he said he still believed in the truth of his contributions and that the “one big hoax” he said had been fabricated by the investigation, the BBC noted. “Literally the entire indictment – from the first to the last word – contradicts the facts. I sign every word I wrote a year ago,” Ivanov said, according to the independent Mediazona website.
Prosecutors charged him on the basis of his anti-war posts on the social network, which related to Russian attacks and the behavior of Russian soldiers in the Ukrainian cities of Bucha, Irpin and Mariupol and the shelling of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, and on the basis of sharing the speeches of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. “According to the indictment, linguistic expertise showed that Ivanov's posts contained signs of political hatred and hostility towards the Russian armed forces,” writes TASS.
“Peace to Ukraine, freedom to Russia. My example should not scare you,” he said shortly before by sentencing Ivanov according to The Guardian newspaper. “It is a dark moment in our history, but the darkest is always before the dawn,” he added, among other things.
Ivanov is a student of Moscow State University (MGU) and one of the founders of the “Protesting MGU” telegram channel, which informed about the protests.
After today, he also became another Russian convicted on the basis of the law introduced last year on the dissemination of so-called false news about the Russian army. Russian lawmakers adopted it shortly after Russian troops invaded Ukraine. Based on it, the Russian courts have since sent for many years, for example, opposition politicians Alexey Gorinov, Ilya Yašin or blogger Veronika Belocerkovská, who lives abroad and sentenced her in absentia.