A court in Russia's central Perm region has fined local man Vladimir Luzgin 200,000 rubles ($3,100) on “Nazism rehabilitation” charges for reposting an article on the Vkontakte social network, the Kommersant newspaper reported Friday.
The article titled “15 Facts on Banderovtsy [followers of controversial Ukrainian nationalist rebel-leader Stepan Bandera], Or What the Kremlin Is Silent About,” that Luzgin reposted in 2014, contains deliberately false information about a joint attack on Poland carried out by German and Soviet forces in 1939, according to the court. Since 2014, the article has been viewed by 20 users.
Luzgin was declared guilty in publicly denying facts that were established by the International Military Tribunal during the Nuremberg trials. The court has also described Luzgin, who graduated from school with a ‘B’ grade in history, as educated enough to understand falsity of the information in the article.
The defendant, who first admitted his guilt, later claimed that the article had only referred to communists, and not the Soviet Union itself, and that he had never read the text of the Nuremberg Tribunal verdict.
According to the prosecutors, Luzgin clearly realized that the text might affect a large number of users and form a “negative image of the Soviet Union’s actions during World War II.”
A controversial law criminalizing propaganda or rehabilitation of Nazism was signed by President Vladimir Putin in May 2014 and since then has raised many concerns due to its vagueness.