Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Man Gets 18 Months in Prison for Right Sector Affiliation

Members of the far-right radical group Right Sector.

A man was sentenced to 18 months in prison Thursday by a Siberian court for joining Ukrainian nationalist group Right Sector, which is banned in Russia as an extremist organization.

The convicted man “got in touch with members of an armed group on the territory of Ukraine from whom he received instructions about how to join,” the Chernovsky district court in the southern Siberian city of Chita said in a statement on its website.

“He decided to join, and was accepted, to the membership of Right Sector,” the statement read.

Right Sector, a hard-line Ukrainian nationalist organization, rose to prominence following street protests in Kiev last year, and was banned in Russia in January. Russia has brought in absentia terrorist charges against Right Sector leader and former Ukrainian presidential candidate Dmytro Yarosh.

While Right Sector failed to win any significant electoral support in Ukraine, it has been demonized in the Russian media as embracing violence and portrayed as a powerful political player.

The convicted man was identified by local media as Alexander Dodonov, 21, who was arrested in Chita Airport on Feb. 18 while trying to board a flight to Ukraine.

Dodonov, who was reportedly active in vigilante groups trying to catch pedophiles by posing as children on the Internet, appeared in court to hear his sentence wearing a surgical mask and avoiding the cameras, according to local news website zabmedia.ru.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.