Support The Moscow Times!

Young Russians’ Extremism Sentences Reduced for ‘Plot to Overthrow Putin’

Maria Dubovik (R), the Novoye Velichiye chat group's founder, pictured near the Moscow City Court. Alexander Avilov / Moskva News Agency

A Moscow court has reduced by three months the prison sentences of two activists jailed last year for plotting to overthrow President Vladimir Putin, news outlets reported Tuesday.

Three young activists received real jail terms and four others were handed suspended sentences in August 2020 on accusations of plotting an uprising as part of an anarchist chat group called “New Greatness.” Their supporters said Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) fabricated the high-profile case through infiltration and a prominent rights group declared them political prisoners.

On Tuesday, the legal news website OVD-Info reported that Moscow City Court reduced Ruslan Kostylenkov’s seven-year sentence to six years and nine months and Pyotr Karamzin’s sentence of six and a half years to six years and three months.

The third jailed activist, Vyacheslav Kryukov, will serve out the entirety of his six-year sentence, as will the four others who received suspended sentences ranging between four and six and a half years.

Their defense team said it will continue to appeal the remaining sentences, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Critics of President Vladimir Putin accuse the authorities of opening politically motivated cases on serious charges of treason and terror in recent years.

“We need to step up our efforts when it comes to combating extremism and crime,” Putin said in a congratulatory note to Russian prosecutors on their professional holiday Tuesday.

Read more

We need your help now more than ever.

Independent media outlets and journalists in Russia are being increasingly targeted with “foreign agent” and “undesirable” labels, threatening the existence of the free press day by day.

Your donation to The Moscow Times directly supports the last independent English-language news source within Russia.