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Russian Man Jailed 25 Years Over Attempted Military Office Arson

Ilya Baburin.

A Russian court has sentenced a software engineer from the Siberian city of Novosibirsk to 25 years in prison for trying to set fire to a military recruitment office, state media reported Monday.

Ilya Baburin was detained in September 2022 and charged with terrorism after he set fire to a music school and then was allegedly preparing to burn down a local military recruitment office. Investigators accused him of taking orders from Ukraine’s Azov Regiment.

Months after his detention, authorities pressed additional treason and terrorism-related charges against Baburin.

The Second Eastern Military Garrison Court found him guilty and ruled to “partly add up” his prison sentence to 25 years, the state-run TASS news agency reported Monday.

Prosecutors had requested a record-setting 26 years in prison for Baburin.

In his closing remarks last week, Baburin denounced the case against him as “absurd” and argued that he should have been tried for hooliganism instead of terrorism and treason.

Baburin accused law enforcement authorities of physically abusing him while in pre-trial detention. He had initially signed a plea deal but later turned it down and denied the charges.

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