Corrects "eight-month jail sentence" with "eight months of community service."
A Russian court on Monday sentenced independent journalist Andrei Novashov to eight months of community service for spreading “falsehoods” about the Russian army, independent Russian TV channel Dozhd reported citing sources close to the journalist.
Novashov, a freelance journalist from the Kemerovo region in southwestern Siberia, was the first journalist to be prosecuted for violating Russia’s strict wartime censorship law introduced shortly after the invasion of Ukraine began last year.
According to the prosecution, the journalist broke the law, which prohibits spreading “knowingly false information about the Russian Armed Forces,” by reposting an article about the siege of Mariupol written by renowned Russian journalist Victoria Ivleva on Russian social media mainstay VKontakte.
“I refuse to label black as white. From the very beginning of the so-called special military operation I considered it a crime against the Ukrainian people,” Novashov said in his closing statement to the court, Dozhd reported.
“Everything that is said in the posts that I am being accused of [publishing] is true,” he added.
On top of his community service order, the court also banned Novashov from posting material online for an entire year, according to Dozhd.