Kremlin Critic Jailed Over 'Fake News' On War

    Kremlin Critic Jailed Over 'Fake News' On War
    Last updated Dec 12, 2022
    Image credit: wapo


    • Russian opposition figure Ilya Yashin — one of the few Kremlin critics to stay in the state after Russia invaded Ukraine — has been jailed for eight and half years for spreading "fake news" about Russia's military and the "special operation."[1]
    • It is unclear whether Yashin's prison sentence includes the time he has already spent in jail during court hearings. In June this year Yashin was sentenced to 15 days behind bars for being disobedient to police.[2]
    • Yashin made a series of posts in April this year about the alleged torture and murder of Ukrainian civilians by Russian troops in the town of Bucha. The verdict in Moscow's Meshchanksy district court stated that: "Yashin created a real threat to the formation of a negative attitude towards the armed forces of the Russian Federation".[3]
    • Days after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, legislation was passed in Russia enabling authorities to sentence anyone who disseminated "false information" about the military to up to 15 years in jail. On his Telegram account, Yashin claimed: "Today, I can only repeat what I said on the day of my arrest: I am not afraid, and you must not be afraid. Changes are just around the corner."[4]
    • Yashin had denied the charges, and his lawyer Maria Eismont has said they would appeal against the verdict. Alexei Navalny's Twitter account called the verdict "shameless and lawless," and described Yashin as the very first friend that he made in politics. Several Russians had been given jail terms for the same offence, however they have been markedly shorter than Yashin's.[5]


    Anti-Russia narrative

    Putin has imposed Stalin-like restrictions on speech concerning the Russian military and the invasion of Ukraine. A growing body of evidence shows that Yashin's comments were by no means misinformation — Putin merely wishes to intimidate the people into silence. However, with the reality of Russia's barbaric actions in Ukraine commonly known, truth of Putin's crimes will not sit quietly behind bars.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    Yashin's false statements are reflective of the Western hatred for Russian institutions. Moscow's military are fighting valiantly to defend marginalized populations within the Russian federation, and Yashin's fabrications undermined their operations. Despite this, he was still treated generously by Russian courts.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 35% chance that Vladimir Putin will be charged with war crimes by the International Criminal Court in connection to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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