A court in western Russia has sentenced a Russian man on charges of trying to join the Ukrainian military in its fight against Moscow’s forces, the independent Mediazona news website reported Wednesday.
Sergei Glushenkov, 28, was reportedly detained while trying to cross the border between the Belgorod region and Ukraine in August.
The pro-war website extremizmu.net reported Tuesday that the man had “purchased full military equipment and first aid supplies” and learned outdoor survival techniques by watching videos online.
Authorities accused Glushenkov of seeking to join the Freedom of Russia Legion, a secretive unit thought to be composed of Russian and Belarusian defectors that operates as part of the Ukrainian military’s International Legion for the Defense of Ukraine.
The Belgorod Region Court found Glushenkov guilty of “preparation of treason” Friday and handed him a 4.5-year sentence in a maximum-security penal colony.
According to Mediazona, his case is among a number of criminal prosecutions under Russia’s law on treason.
Most of the other Russian citizens detained on accusation of trying to join the Ukrainian military were convicted of membership in an illegal armed group.