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Russian Anti-War Sociologist Charged With 'Justifying Terrorism'

Boris Kagarlitsky. Alexander Demyanchuk / TASS

Boris Kagarlitsky, a Russian sociologist and Marxist theorist who has openly opposed Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, has been detained on charges of “justifying terrorism” online, his lawyer said Wednesday.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) transferred Kagarlitsky to the city of Syktyvkar in northwestern Russia’s republic of Komi, where the case against him is being investigated, according to the state-run TASS news agency.

Kagarlitsky, a professor at the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, faces up to seven years in prison under Russia’s laws on  “justifiying terrorism.”

“Professor Kagarlitsky has never supported or justified terrorism in his activities,” the sociologist’s lawyer Sergei Yerokhov told reporters, adding that his client denies the charges.

“The purpose of all his speeches is to show the real problems the Russian state is facing,” Yerokhov added.

The laywer told the independent Agentstvo news website that the criminal case against his client was related to a post made on the Telegram messaging app, where Kagarlitsky analyzed the military implications of the October 2022 explosion on the Crimea bridge.

A Syktyvkar court ordered him to two months of pre-trial detention, the independent Sota news outlet reported later Wednesday.

FSB searches in connection with the criminal case against Kagarlitsky were carried out in the homes of Penza region sociologist Anna Ochkina, Rabkor’s social media editor Artyom Yerofonov in Yekaterinburg and psychologist Rabkor contributor Alexander Archagov in Moscow.

Kagarlitsky has opposed Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine while remaining in the country.

He serves as director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements, which Russia’s Justice Ministry designated as a “foreign agent” in 2018.

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