Russia plans to imprison anti-war official and activist opposition activists

Russian prosecutors called Thursday for the imprisonment of a prominent opposition activist as well as a Moscow City Council member who opposed the invasion.

Russia plans to imprison anti-war official and activist opposition activists

Russian prosecutors called Thursday for the imprisonment of a prominent opposition activist as well as a Moscow City Council member who opposed the invasion. This is a clear sign that the Kremlin continues its crackdown on dissent.

According to Sergei Badamshin, his lawyer, Andrei Pivovarov was asked by the prosecution to serve a five year sentence for "directing an unwanted organization," which is a crime under a 2015 law.

Pivovarov denied the charges and stated during the court hearing, that the criminal case had been opened just two days after Open Russia was shut down. After being designated as an "undesirable organization", the group was disbanded to protect its members.

Pivovarov was taken off a Warsaw-bound flight at St. Petersburg's airport shortly before takeoff in May 2021. He was then taken to Krasnodar in the south, where he was charged with supporting a candidate for an "undesirable” organization. His social media posts that he supported independent candidates at Krasnodar's municipal election are the basis of his criminal charges.

Badamshin, the lawyer, stated that prosecutors had also asked for his client to be expelled from office for eighteen years.

A Russian prosecutor also requested a seven year sentence for a Moscow City Council member who voiced opposition to Russia's actions regarding Ukraine.

Alexei Gorinov was arrested in April. This is the first Russian elected representative who will face prison for "knowingly false information" regarding the Russian army. The maximum sentence is 15 years.

Gorinov criticised Moscow's military actions against Ukraine during a March city council meeting. A recording of the meeting is available on YouTube. He is seen voicing doubts over a planned competition for children's artwork in his constituency, while "everyday children are dying in Ukraine."

Gorinov was photographed holding a sign that said "I am against war" while sitting in defendant's prison cell at a court hearing last October.

Moscow effectively banned all independent discussion about its Ukraine operation, including any references to it being a "war" and/or "invasion", weeks after its troops entered Ukraine.

Russia issued an arrest warrant Thursday for Ilya Krasilshchik. She is an outspoken tech executive who was also the former publisher of Meduza, a leading independent Russian news website.

Russian media linked the charges against Krasilshchik (who fled Russia in March) to an Instagram post, in which he expressed shock and outrage at the mass executions committed by civilians in Kyiv suburbs, which were occupied in spring.

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