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Russian government welfare agencies to take charge of 96-year-old mother of Kaliningrad man convicted for “war fakes”

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The 96-year-old mother of Kaliningrad resident Igor Baryshnikov, recently sentenced to 7.5 years in prison on charges of spreading “fakes” about the Russian army, will be taken away by government welfare agencies, according to a report by SOTAvision.

Baryshnikov's mother, 96-year-old Yevgenia Baryshnikova, is a war veteran and Holocaust victim. She has no other relatives and is unable to care for herself independently. According to SOTAvision, the woman’s mental health was stable until a year ago, but after the first search of their apartment and the eight-day arrest of her son, her state rapidly deteriorated. Before being arrested, Baryshnikov was taking care of his mother and running the household.

On June 22, a court in the Kaliningrad region sentenced 64-year-old Baryshnikov to 7.5 years in a minimum-security penal colony. The case was launched over his Facebook posts on the shelling of a maternity hospital in Mariupol and the murders of civilians committed by the Russian army in Bucha. Another case was later opened over posts that mentioned the sinking of Russia’s “Moskva” cruiser and the crimes of the Russian military in Ukraine. Both cases were then merged, and Baryshnikov was ordered not to leave the region. The activist said that he made the posts in a closed account, and could not harm anyone.

During the trial, Baryshnikov's health also took a turn for the worse, with doctors diagnosing a potential case of prostate cancer and installing a cystostomy — a tube in his abdomen going into his bladder. Doctors insist he should not be incarcerated.

“I understand that I haven't committed any crime: I haven't killed anyone, robbed or raped anyone. Why should I run away somewhere? And where would I run to? How am I going to leave my mother? She is absolutely helpless now,” said Baryshnikov before the announcement of the verdict.

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