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Russia Jails Man 23 Years Over ‘Railway Explosion’ Plot

Alexander Dmitrienko. Free People of Voronezh / Facebook

A court in southwestern Russia’s Voronezh region has sentenced a man to 23 years in maximum-security prison on accusations that he sought to blow up a railway station, independent media reported Friday.

Alexander Dimitrenko was detained in Voronezh in May 2022, two months after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Dimitrenko had accused agents from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) of torturing him to obtain a forced confession and fabricating the case against him.

Law enforcement authorities claim they found an explosive device at his home, as well as wads of U.S. dollars and a Ukrainian passport, all of which Dimitrenko claimed were planted by FSB agents.

The Voronezh Regional Court found him guilty of treason, planning to commit sabotage and possession of weapons, according to the independent broadcaster Sotavision.

The judge handed Dimitrenko, who denied his guilt, a 23-year prison sentence, although prosecutors had requested 21 years.

The trial took place behind closed doors as it was said to have involved state secrets.

Russian authorities have opened record numbers of treason cases in what rights groups decry as wartime “military spy mania.”

In 2023, Russian courts handed down guilty verdicts in all treason cases considered that year, according to the human rights project Perviy Otdel, which specializes in cases investigated by the FSB.

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