Russia Convicts Activist who Faced First-Ever Separatism Charges

Darya Polyudova

Daria Poludova, an activist who had been the first person to ever be charged with separatism in Russia, has been sentenced to two years in prison, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday.

A court in the southern Krasnodar region sentenced Poludova on legal charges of "calling for Russia's territorial integrity infringement”.

According to the court, Poludova made a call on social media for a socialist revolution in Russia, criticized President Vladimir Putin and called on her subscribers to join the “March for federalization of Kuban”, Kommersant reported.

Kuban is one of Southwestern Russia's historic regions.

The separatism Criminal Code article was introduced in 2014, and Poludova was the first person to be charged under it, Kommersant said. Two others, however, were sentenced under that article while Poludova's case was investigated.

“This is a horrible sentence, very brutal. We will appeal it and Daria will stay free until the sentence takes force,” Poludova's lawyer Andrey Sabinin told the newspaper.

The defense will appeal Poludova's sentence all the way to the European Court for Human Rights if necessary, her lawyer said.

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