72-year-old Russian pensioner sentenced to five and a half years in prison for anti-war posts on social media

Photo: NetFreedoms Project
Photo: NetFreedoms Project

A court in the Russian Federation's Rostov Oblast has sentenced a local resident, Evgeniia Maiboroda, to five and a half years in prison for disseminating so-called "fake news" about the Russian army.

Source: OVD-Info, Radio Liberty

Details: The kangaroo court determined that the 72-year-old pensioner distributed "fake news" promoting "political hatred and extremist activities" via the social network VKontakte. Two specific posts by Maiboroda are mentioned in the case. Russian courts have ruled that the reports she posted about the war in Ukraine, which do not match the official accounts from the Russian Ministry of Defence, are fake.

Many anti-war posts were found on the pensioner's VKontakte page, including some that compared Russian authorities to Nazi Germany's leadership.

Maiboroda did not deny having made the posts, and explained them by stating that her brother, who lived in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, was hit by a Russian attack and buried under the rubble of his house.

In January 2023, the pensioner was previously fined RUB 40,000 [approx. US$445 - ed.] for speaking out against the Russian army on VKontakte. At the court hearing, the pensioner stated that she disagreed with the actions of the Russian army and the Kremlin in relation to Ukraine, and had no kind words for Russian President Vladimir Putin's activities and personal qualities.

According to OVD-Info estimates, charges for espousing anti-war positions were brought against at least 830 people, 250 of which were accused of spreading "fake news" about the Russian army.

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