Russia Jails Journalist For Criticising Ukraine Offensive

On Wednesday, a Russian court condemned a journalist to seven years in prison for denouncing the Ukraine offensive in social media posts.

Roman Ivanov, 51, was convicted of distributing “false information” about Russia’s armed forces and sentenced under Moscow’s harsh military censorship regulations.

Moscow has utilized laws against “discrediting” the armed forces and publishing “false information” to silence public criticism of its massive military attack against Ukraine.

“Peace and freedom,” Ivanov shouted as he left the courtroom after the sentence.

“We’re with you. You are not alone,” his applauding supporters shouted, AFP journalists at the courtroom saw.

In social media posts published in 2022 on the Telegram and VKontake social media sites, Ivanov criticised Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine and its actions in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.


He was arrested last year and pleaded not guilty in court.

In a final statement at a previous hearing he said: “Journalism no longer exists in Russia.”

“We must ask ourselves why we are sowing suffering and unhappiness all around us, why our country has turned into an avalanche of suffering and unhappiness”, he added.

Ivanov formerly worked for a local state-run television channel, but was fired in 2021 after reporting on alleged corruption, electoral fraud, and environmental issues in Korolyov, a town northeast of Moscow.

Maria Nekrasova, Ivanov’s wife, stated Wednesday that he had demonstrated that his posts “contained no false information” and that he had “no motive for political hatred.”

She added they want to appeal the decision.

Speaking outside the courtroom following the verdict, Ivanov’s family stated that they believed the case against him was ordered by local authorities as retaliation for his reporting.

“What’s in front of him has been completely fabricated,” his mother, Alla Ivanova, said.

“I will continue to fight,” she added, speaking through tears.

“I love my son and I’m proud of him. I’m proud that he fought for people, helped people.”

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