Russian Court Sentences Lawmaker To Seven Years In Prison For Anti-War Statements


A Russian court has sentenced a Moscow city lawmaker to seven years in prison after finding him guilty of “knowingly distributing false information” about Russia’s military.

Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court handed down the sentence against Aleksei Gorinov on July 8, the TASS news agency said.

The watchdog organization OVD-Info said several spectators applauded Gorinov during proceedings and were arrested by bailiffs.

Gorinov is the first elected official in Russia to be convicted under the “distributing false information” law that was passed in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. He could have gotten up to 15 years in prison.

At a meeting of the Moscow city legislature in March, Gorinov criticized the Russian invasion, suggesting it was inappropriate to be holding a local children’s art competition while in Ukraine “every day children are dying.”

During a court hearing last month, Gorinov, who was detained in April, held up a sign that read “I am against the war.”

Prosecutors have launched dozens of investigations across the country into people who have criticized the Russian war or have merely called for peace. The Kremlin insists on calling the invasion a “special military operation.”

"Seven years in prison for words. Seven years in prison because of a denunciation,” said Andrei Pivovarov, a prominent opposition activist who faces a five-year prison sentence for heading an “undesirable organization.”

“A new dark page of repression in Russia has officially opened,” he wrote in a post on Facebook, following Gorinov’s sentencing.

With reporting by AP and TASS