Pussy Riot member in Russia sentenced to six years in prison for spreading “false information” about Ukraine war

Pussy Riot Activist Liudmila Stein Sentenced to Six Years in Prison for Spreading ‘False Information’ About Russian Armed Forces

Liudmila (Lucy) Stein, a member of the Russian activist group Pussy Riot, was sentenced to six years in prison in absentia by a Russian court for spreading “false information” about the Russian Armed Forces. The Prosecutor’s Office had requested an eight-year sentence and a four-year internet ban.

Stein, who is abroad and on Russia’s wanted list, was accused of sharing false information about the Armed Forces on Twitter. She had previously been sentenced to one year of restriction of freedom for violating sanitary regulations during a demonstration in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. After the war started, Stein cut off her electronic ankle bracelet and left Russia.

Since President Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, at least 19,855 people have been detained in Russia for expressing anti-war views. Pussy Riot gained notoriety for a protest in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2012. Stein fled Moscow with her girlfriend and fellow Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina, eventually settling in Iceland where she was granted citizenship.

The criminal case against Stein was based on a tweet she posted in March 2022 commenting on a video showing Ukrainian soldiers shooting at Russian prisoners of war. Prosecutors had requested an eight-and-a-half-year sentence for Stein. Stein’s mother had joked that they would ask for a nine-year sentence.

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