Daughter Of Journalist Who Set Self On Fire Fined For 'Discrediting' Russian Army

By RFE/RL's Russian Service

The daughter of Russian journalist Irina Slavina, who died two years ago after setting herself on fire in an apparent reaction to being under investigation, has been fined on a charge of discrediting Russia's armed forces.

Margarita Murakhtayeva wrote on Facebook that a court in the city of Nizhny Novgorod ordered her to pay 30,000 rubles (almost $500) on November 22 for her single-person picket in October to protest against Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, launched by President Vladimir Putin in late February.

Murakhtayeva stood at the site where her mother burned to death on October 2, 2020, with a poster saying, "My mother would say 'Putin, go to hell with your war,' but Putin already killed her."

Before setting herself on fire in front of the city police headquarters in Nizhny Novgorod, Slavina wrote on Facebook, "Blame the Russian Federation for my death."

Slavina killed herself a day after a group of law enforcement officers searched her apartment in an attempt to find evidence linking her with the opposition Open Russia group. The officers confiscated Slavina's computers and mobile phones.

Slavina said at the time that she was left without the tools needed to do her job as a journalist, adding that she had never had any links with Open Russia.

Slavina's self-immolation caused a public outcry, with many people demanding justice. However, the authorities have refused to launch a probe into her death, saying there were no elements of a crime to investigate.

Slavina's Koza.Press online newspaper focused on shortcomings in the work of local officials, cases of political persecution, and the illegal removal of historic buildings in the Nizhny Novgorod region.

The newspaper was shut down by her daughter after her death.

Several days after Russia launched its full-scale aggression against Ukraine, Putin signed a law that criminalized the dissemination of "fake" reports that purportedly "discredit the armed forces."