Russian court convicts father of teen who drew anti-war pictures
A Russian court on Tuesday convicted a single father over social media posts criticising the war in Ukraine and sentenced him to two years in prison – a case brought to the attention of authorities by his daughter’s drawings against the invasion at school, according to his lawyer and activists.
The case of Alexei Moskalyov, who was indicted in his hometown of Yefremov, has drawn international attention.
In a twist to the case, the 54-year-old Moskalyov fled his house arrest overnight, court officials said, and wasn’t present for the outcome of his trial. He had been wearing a bracelet that tracked his movements but apparently had taken it off.
Moskalyov was accused of repeatedly discrediting the Russian army, a criminal offense in accordance with a law Russian authorities adopted shortly after sending troops into Ukraine.
He was indicted for a series of social media posts about Russia’s atrocities in Ukraine and referencing the “terrorist” regime in Moscow. But, according to his lawyer and activists who supported him throughout the case and trial, his troubles started last spring after his 13-year-old daughter, Maria, drew an antiwar picture at school that depicted missiles flying over a Russian flag that said ‘Glory to Ukraine’.
In April last year, Moskalyov was fined for his critical comments on social media. His apartment was raided in December and a criminal case was opened against him this month. He was placed under house arrest and his daughter was taken away from him and placed in an orphanage.
At the trial, which concluded in one day on Monday, three teachers and the director of Maria’s school testified that they randomly found Moskalyov’s “discrediting” social media posts and that Maria’s drawing had nothing to do with the case – contradicting the accounts of his lawyer and other supporters.
Moskalyov rejected the accusations and insisted that he had nothing to do with the social media posts in question.
In a short closing statement, Moskalyov said he was “against” what the Kremlin insists on calling a “special military operation.”
“How can one feel about death, about people who are dying? Adults are dying, children. … Only negatively – how else can one feel about a war?” he was quoted as saying by Russia’s independent news site Mediazona.
For more watch Euronews’ report in the video above.
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