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ASTRA: Residents of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk report Ukrainian friend who spoke out against Russian aggression in private conversation

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Russian authorities in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk have opened a criminal investigation against a Ukrainian citizen, Alexander V., for “discrediting” the Russian army (Part 1 of Article 280.3 of Russia’s Criminal Code), reported media outlet ASTRA. The source of the allegation was the man’s private conversation with his Russian friends.

According to ASTRA, Alexander was reported to the police by his friends after they discussed the Russian aggression against Ukraine, with Alexander expressing support for the Ukrainian “Azov” regiment. The man, who had been living in Russia since 2013, had already been prosecuted this year for criticizing the Russian authorities. On June 29, he was sentenced to a fine of 30,000 roubles (close to $50) for a comment on the website Sakh.com. According to ASTRA, Alexander is now in pre-trial detention as the subject of another case on charges of attempted murder.

In late summer, Russia’s media watchdog Roskomnadzor reported on the number of “complaints” the agency received from Russians during the first six months of 2022. At that time, they wrote 144,835 reports, most of which were related to the war in Ukraine, “fakes” about the Russian army, and “pro-Ukrainian propaganda.”

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