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Russia Jails Pensioner for Post About Army Casualties

Yevgeniya Maiboroda. t.me/NetFreedomsProject

A 72-year-old pensioner was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for allegedly sharing a post online about Russia's military casualties in Ukraine, rights groups said Monday.

Yevgeniya Maiboroda, from Russia's southern Rostov region, was prosecuted under a law that prohibits the deliberate spreading of "false information" about the Russian army.

Maiboroda pleaded guilty but denied she was motivated by "political hatred" as prosecutors alleged, the OVD-Info rights group reported.

She shared two posts on her VK social media page, one an "emotional video" about the conflict and the other on the number of soldiers killed, legal group Setevye Svobody said.

The group said she felt compelled to share the posts after her brother became trapped under the rubble of a building "collapsed by shells" in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro.

A spokesperson for Shakhty City Court in Rostov confirmed Maiboroda's conviction to AFP, and said she was charged over illegal content on her VK account, without elaborating.

Moscow made criticism of its army illegal shortly after launching its Ukraine offensive in February 2022. Thousands of opponents of the conflict have been censored, jailed or exiled.

A 61-year-old ailing pensioner who criticized the conflict was sentenced this month to over eight years in prison for enemy treason, a charge he denied.

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