Russia | An opponent who criticized the offensive in Ukraine was sentenced to seven years in prison

(Moscow) A Russian prosecutor on Thursday called for seven years in prison against a local elected official in Moscow, Alexei Gorinov, who had criticized the offensive against Ukraine in connection with the suppression of every opposition voice in Russia.

Posted at 12:15 p.m

Gorinov, 60, is the first elected opposition figure to risk jail for criticizing the intervention in Ukraine.

Prosecutors on Thursday accused him of “spreading false information about the armed forces” and “misleading a large number of people,” according to an AFP correspondent present at the hearing.

“I ask you to admit Gorinov’s guilt and sentence him to seven years in a penal colony,” he added, accusing the elected opposition figure of being motivated by “political hatred”.

At Thursday’s hearing, Mr Gorinov said he was “against all wars,” citing the wars in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Iraq as examples.

“My father came back from World War II disabled. And his brother who’s missing a leg,” he added.

Mr. Gorinov was arrested in Moscow on April 26. His trial began on Janah June.

He faces charges of “spreading false information” about the Russian army, a crime introduced in early March to silence critics of the offensive in Ukraine.

Mr Gorinov is accused of acting “in a group” and using his “official position” with another local MP, Elena Kotenochkina, who fled Russia.

Mr. Gorinov, a lawyer by training, condemned Moscow’s “aggression” against Ukraine on March 15 during a filmed workshop.

During this speech, which was broadcast on YouTube, he had questioned the organization of entertainment events in his constituency, in particular a drawing competition for children, given the context.

“Children are orphaned, and the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of World War II participants are thrown into the hell of fighting in Ukraine,” he said, referring to the “daily” deaths of Ukrainian children.

“All efforts of civil society must be made to end the war and lead to the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory,” he continued.

Since it was launched on February 24, dozens of people who publicly criticized the offensive against Ukraine have been prosecuted in Russia. Most have been fined, while others face serious prison terms.

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