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Russian National Fined for Attending Anti-War Rally in Georgia 

Vladimir Zagalov Social media

A court in the republic of North Ossetia-Alania in Russia’s North Caucasus has found a Russian national guilty in absentia of attending an anti-war rally in Georgia and issued him with a fine for "discrediting" the Russian army, independent regional news outlet Caucasian Knot reported

Vladimir Zagalov, who comes from North-Ossetia-Alania but has been living in Tbilisi since September, attended a rally in the Georgian capital Tbilisi to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He later posted photos of the event on his Russian social network VKontakte. 

The photos, which include one of Zagalov holding a sign reading “stop the war and the violence,” were later discovered by employees of Russia’s Center for Combating Extremism, who deemed Zagalov to have violated one of Russia’s wartime censorship laws. 

A local court in the North Ossetian town of Mozdok on Monday found that the photos of the rally as well as other materials posted to Zagalov’s Vkontakte page “discredited” the Russian armed forces and ordered Zagalov to pay a fine of 30,000 rubles ($386). 

“Zagalov … posted pictures depicting a trident with a Ukrainian nationalist motto [and other] graphics and texts … discrediting … the Russian armed forces,” the court ruling read. 

“[He also posted] pictures depicting him taking part in a rally in … Georgia and holding a poster … in protest against the use of the Russian armed forces,” it added. 

Zagalov, who has yet to comment on the ruling, was tried in absentia as he has remained in exile since leaving Russia in September.

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