The student Dmitri Ivanov is another example of the Russian judiciary's rigid approach to criticism of the army and the Ukraine war. The 23-year-old has been sentenced to eight and a half years in prison. He himself pleads "not guilty".
A Moscow court has sentenced a student to eight and a half years in prison for allegedly spreading misinformation about the Russian army. As reported by the official news agency TASS, the court imposed the sentence on 23-year-old mathematics and computer science student Dmitry Ivanov from Moscow's Lomonosov University.
The student was found guilty of "spreading false information about the Russian army out of political hatred". This criminal offense was introduced in Russia a year ago after the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine and has already been used several times to put critics on trial.
Ivanov had published critical comments on the Russian mission in Ukraine in the Telegram online service and shared statements by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. During the trial, the 23-year-old pleaded not guilty.
The Russian offensive in Ukraine is officially referred to as a "military special operation" rather than war or invasion. The law punishing alleged misinformation about the Russian army carries up to 15 years in prison for this offence.
Thousands of Russians who have publicly criticized the conflict or actions of the Russian army in Ukraine have already been convicted under this law.