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Russian Man Imprisoned for 'Terrorist' Military Enlistment Arson Attack

Still from a video of the arson of the military registration and enlistment office in Nizhnevartovsk. FAKEOFF / YouTube

A Russian court has issued the country’s first prison sentence on terrorism charges for an arson attack on a military recruitment office, state agencies reported Tuesday.

Two men were arrested in mid-May on suspicion of throwing Molotov cocktails at the enlistment office in the west Siberian city of Nizhnevartovsk earlier that month. No one was hurt in the attack, which came amid a wider string of arson attacks on Russian military recruitment centers following the invasion of Ukraine.

They were initially charged with property damage and hooliganism before the case was reclassified as an act of terrorism last month.

The defendants were identified as local residents Vladislav Borisenko, 20, and Vasily Gavrilishin.

The Central District Military Court in Russia’s Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous district found Borisenko guilty of terrorism and sentenced him to 12 years in prison, according to the state-run TASS news agency.

The charges are punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

Both defendants pleaded guilty but maintained that they were motivated by financial gain instead of terrorism, TASS reported earlier this month.

The news agency did not say when Gavrilishin was due to be sentenced.

Scores of military recruitment offices have been subjected to arson attacks across Russia since the start of the Ukraine war on Feb. 24.

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