Russia: An opponent of the war in Ukraine sentenced to eight and a half years in prison

LONDON, March 7 (Reuters) – A Russian opponent, who had criticized Russia’s way of waging its war in Ukraine on social media, was sentenced on Tuesday to an eight-and-a-half-year prison term by a Moscow court. found him guilty of spreading false information about the military.

Dmitry Ivanov, who ran a channel on the social network Telegram for students at Moscow State University, denied any wrongdoing.

He told the court he stood by his initial statements which he said were factually accurate.

The court decision, announced by his lawyer Maria Eismont on Facebook, states that Dmitry Ivanov will serve his sentence in a penal colony and that he is also banned for four years from being an administrator of Internet sites or social media.

Shortly after its invasion of Ukraine more than a year ago, Russia instituted strict censorship over what it calls a “special military operation”.

“Discrediting” the army is punishable by up to five years in prison while spreading deliberately false information about it is punishable by 15 years in prison.

Dmitry Ivanov, who was arrested last June, was accused of having written or reposted on Telegram a series of claims about the behavior of the Russian army in Ukraine, including allegations of war crimes. (Report by Andrew Osborn, Blandine Hénault for the French version, edited by Matthieu Protard)

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