Russian Activist Jailed For Assaulting Police Officer During Anti-War Rally

St. PETERSBURG, Russia -- An activist in Russia's second-largest city has been handed a prison term for allegedly attacking a police officer during a rally against Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

The press service of St. Petersburg's courts said on April 28 that 24-year-old Zakhar Tatuiko was sentenced to 16 months in prison after the Kuibyshev district court found him guilty of grabbing a police officer during the rally in early March and spraying pepper spray on his face.

It is not clear how Tatuiko pleaded in the case.

The Investigative Committee issued a video in early March showing a man and a police officer, both with blurred faces, where the man says he admits attacking a police officer during an unsanctioned rally on March 2 and using pepper spray on him.

The Investigative Committee says only that the man is a 24-year-old resident of St. Petersburg.

Since Russia launched its attack on Ukraine on February 24, there have been several unsanctioned rallies across the country to protest the invasion, with thousands arrested, including activists who held single-person protests, some holding makeshift posters saying "Peace to the world," "No to war," "Fascism will not pass," and others.

Some have been arrested while holding posters citing the bible, statements by President Vladimir Putin, or even with the inscription "two words" as a replacement for the officially banned "no war," or with a number of stars corresponding to the number of letters in the phrase "no war."