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Farmer Gets 8 Years in Prison for Threatening to Burn Himself and His Children Over Subsidies

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A court has sentenced a farmer from Tver to eight years in prison for threatening to set fire to himself and his children, if the government refused to grant him a federal subsidy, according to local prosecutors.

The man was convicted of threatening to cause harm and loss of life in an attempt to influence government decision making.

The defendant owns a farm outside Tver that is participating in a sustainable development program run by the federal government. Prosecutors say he called the offices of local officials and delivered the threats over the phone.

The farmer said he would block a highway between Moscow and St. Petersburg, and also promised to burn himself and his children to death, if the state refused to sign a housing construction contract with him and grant him the right to manage independently a fund of 1.2 million rubles (about $18,000).

Prosecutors say the 39-year-old farmer was denied subsidies because he failed to provide the documents necessary for proving that he needs the assistance.

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