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Russian Activist Fined for Anti-FSB Protest After Transfer From Kyrgyzstan – NGO

Lev Skoryakin. Sotavision

Russian left-wing activist and anarchist Lev Skoryakin was released from detention after being fined for staging a protest against Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the human rights watchdog OVD-Info reported Wednesday.

Rights activists said Skoryakin was abducted from jail in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan in October and flown to Moscow, where he faced trial on armed hooliganism charges for a 2021 anti-FSB protest.

Moscow’s Gagarinsky District Court fined Skoryakin 500,000 rubles ($5,500) and released him in court since he had already served his full sentence in pre-trial detention, OVD-Info said.

Skoryakin reportedly admitted his guilt, with his lawyer telling the judge that his client was “broken and unwilling to fight.”

Prosecutors had requested a five-year prison sentence for Skoryakin, who accused Russian law enforcement agents of beating him while in detention.

Skoryakin said he received “the most humane” treatment while in detention in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, but noted that he still harbors “grievances” toward the country’s authorities for what he described as his “illegal transfer” to Russia.

The unexpectedly lax sentencing against the activist comes a day after another Moscow court fined and released anti-war sociologist Boris Kagarlitsky on charges of “justifying terrorism.”

Some observers have linked the more lenient court verdicts to President Vladimir Putin’s announcement last week that he would be seeking re-election next year, suggesting that the Kremlin is seeking to “show its human side” after a sweeping crackdown on war critics over the past 22 months.

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