Support The Moscow Times!

Woman Fined for ‘Discrediting’ Army After Row in Moscow Coffee Shop

Sofia Sandurskaya / Moskva News Agency

A Moscow resident was fined for “discrediting” the Russian army after she defended Ukrainians in an argument that unfolded in front of customers at a Moscow coffee shop, human rights watchdog OVD-Info reported Friday.  

The woman, who requested anonymity to speak freely, related going to her favorite coffee shop one day in March to find another customer “arguing loudly,”  using offensive slurs about Ukrainians and saying that they “should be driven out.”

“I made a comment … because … many of us have family and friends living in Ukraine. He was also in a public space where you shouldn’t make remarks like that,” the woman told OVD-Info. 

Aggravated, the man chose to continue the argument and also began filming the woman with his phone. 

“I also wanted to film him, but he started telling me that he works in law enforcement and mustn’t be filmed. He [then] took my phone and grabbed me by my hand. After that he called the police,” she told OVD-Info. 

The police took the woman to a police station where officers studied her social media and advised her to keep such conversations confined to “her kitchen.” 

The resulting case made against the woman was for an Instagram post she made about mobilization, which was supplied to the police by the man from the cafe. 

The woman was found to have “discredited” the Russian armed forces and ordered to pay a fine of 30,000 rubles ($366). 

“Of course, I don’t go to my favorite coffee shop anymore,” she told OVD-Info

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more