A Russian court on Thursday handed down a two-year suspended prison sentence to a St. Petersburg woman who left a message on the grave of President Vladimir Putin’s parents saying they had been “capricious and murderous”.
The court found Irina Tsipaneva, 60, guilty of desecration of burial places motivated by political hatred. Her lawyer said she did not plead guilty because she did not physically desecrate the grave or seek publicity for her action.
The note placed on the guarded grave by Tsipaneva on the eve of Putin’s birthday in October reads: “Fathers of madmen, take him to your place. He causes so much pain and trouble. The whole world prays for his death. Death to Putin. You raised a stranger and a murderer.”
Since Putin sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022, the government has gone on the offensive suppression of dissent Unseen since Soviet times.
In another case, a Russian government agency added actor Artur Smolyaninov and a former adviser who advised the Ukrainian President’s office to its list of “extremists and terrorists”.
In an interview with the Europe edition of the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, Smolyaninov stated that, hypothetically, he would take part in hostilities only on the Ukrainian side.
Ukraine’s presidential advisor, Oleksiy Aristovich, has resigned after stating online that a Russian missile had caused the explosion. 45 people died In the city of Dnipro, a residential building was hit as a result of Ukrainian air defenses.
In other developments Thursday:
– A Russian military court has sentenced Nikita Toshkanov, a history teacher from Komi, to five and a half years in prison for comments he made about the explosion of last year’s Kerch Bridge linking Ukraine’s Crimea to mainland Russia. Toshkanov was found guilty of justifying terrorism and “defaming the reputation” of the Russian army. The teacher made social media posts in October calling the bridge explosion a “birthday gift” for Putin.
Jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny I mentioned on Twitter that he was returned to the solitary confinement penalty cell only one day after his release. Didn’t speculate why. Navalny, 46, who exposed official corruption and organized massive anti-Kremlin protests, was arrested in Moscow in January 2021 after recovering in Germany from nerve agent poisoning he blamed on the Kremlin. He was initially sentenced to two and a half years in prison for violating parole. Last year, he was sentenced to nine years in prison for fraud and contempt of court. He is serving time in a maximum security prison 250 kilometers (150 miles) east of Moscow.
The Kremlin’s sweeping crackdown criminalized criticism of the war. In addition to fines and prison sentences, the defendants were dismissed, blacklisted, and labeled “foreign agents” or who had fled Russia.
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