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Russia Toughens Sentence Against Anti-War Sociologist

Boris Kagarlitsky appears in court. Nataliya Kazakovtseva / TASS

A Russian court of appeals has sentenced prominent anti-war sociologist and Marxist theorist Boris Kagarlitsky to five years in prison, his lawyer told reporters on Tuesday.

In December, Kagarlitsky was ordered by a Moscow military court to pay 600,000 rubles ($6,600) for “justifying terrorism,” charges which he denied.

Prosecutors appealed the lower court's decision to fine Kagarlitsky, calling it “excessively lenient.”

Charges of “justifying terrorism” are punishable by a maximum of seven years.

On Tuesday, a military court of appeals reversed the initial ruling against Kagarlitsky and sentenced him to serve five years in a prison colony, according to his lawyer.

"The court considered the appeal of the Prosecutor's Office of the republic of Komi against Kagarlitsky's [previous] sentence and decided to reverse the decision of the first instance,” his lawyer Sergei Erokhov was quoted as saying by the state-run TASS news agency. 

The academic was taken into custody following Tuesday's sentencing, according to the independent Mediazona news website.

Kagarlitsky, the founder and chief editor of the left-wing news organization Rabkor, was detained in July 2023 in connection with a since-deleted YouTube video about the 2022 Crimea bridge explosion. 

He has been an outspoken critic of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine but has remained in Russia despite the Kremlin’s sweeping crackdown on dissent. 

Kagarlitsky serves as director of the Institute of Globalization and Social Movements, which Russia labeled a “foreign agent” in 2018.

The academic was himself designated a “foreign agent” in May 2022.

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