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Radio Enthusiast Who Called for Putin's Overthrow Given 6 Years in Jail

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A Russian court has sentenced a radio enthusiast to six years in jail for calling for President Vladimir Putin's violent overthrown shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began last year.

The police-monitoring website OVD Info reported Friday that Kirill Akimov, 52, was arrested in June on suspicion of calling for violence during two broadcasts on his amateur radio station on Feb. 28 and March 14, 2022.

Akimov, who hails from the central Russian republic of Mordovia, 400 kilometers east of Moscow, reportedly urged Ukrainians and Europeans to commit violence against Putin supporters and to “destroy” the Russian president.

The Central Garrison Military Court in Yekaterinburg on Wednesday found Akimov guilty on two counts of inciting terrorism, according to a court statement.

As well as being handed a six-year sentence in a correctional facility, Akimov was banned from making amateur radio communications for three years.

The court statement said Akimov’s sentence had not yet come into force and could be appealed within the next 15 days.

Mass anti-war protests in Russia have been effectively outlawed under draconian war censorship laws brought it following Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.

OVD Info estimates that over 500 Russians have been subject to criminal prosecution for protesting against the war in the nearly 14 months since it started.

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