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Russia’s FSB Falsified Evidence Against Jailed Anti-War Teenager – Mediazona

Arseniy Turbin. Arseniy Turbin / VK

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) falsified evidence against a 15-year-old schoolboy who was jailed last week on terrorism charges, the independent news outlet Mediazona reported Thursday, citing case materials.

A Moscow military court ordered Arseniy Turbin to spend five years at a juvenile correctional facility on charges of “participating in terrorist activities.” He was accused of trying to join the Freedom of Russia Legion, a militia made up of Russian nationals fighting on the side of Ukraine, which Russia’s Supreme Court has designated as a terrorist organization.

Turbin denied the accusations and the Freedom of Russia Legion said it does not accept members who are under the age of 18.

Russia’s human rights group Memorial recognized Turbin as a political prisoner, making him the youngest activist to receive the designation.

According to Mediazona, FSB agents claimed Turbin had admitted during an interrogation — which was recorded — that he “planned to join the legion and send in a completed questionnaire.”

But a transcript of the interrogation published by Mediazona shows that Turbin made no such admission despite the FSB agents’ attempt to lead him on.

“I would have joined [the Freedom of Russia Legion],” Turbin was quoted as saying, adding that he chose not to submit the questionnaire out of fear of sharing personal information with strangers.

“After all, I don’t know these people,” the teen said in the two-hour interrogation, which took place in August 2023. 

Turbin was arrested the following month based on case materials submitted by the FSB, Mediazona wrote.

The independent news website Novaya Gazeta Europe reported Wednesday that the previous investigator had sought to close the case against Turbin, but it was reassigned to a different investigator.

Russia’s state financial watchdog last fall added Turbin to its list of “terrorists and extremists.”

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