Russia has sentenced a popular blogger and cookbook author, Veronika Belotserkovskaya, for publishing information considered false about its military.
On March 16, 2022, a few weeks after Russian forces entered Ukraine, the Investigative Committee of Russia announced the beginning of an investigation into Ms Belotserkovskaya.
It was the first case made public under a new rule passed earlier in the month that penalised anything deemed derogatory to the Russian military.
She was charged with “deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to destroy cities and the civilian population of Ukraine, including children.”
Ms Belotserkovskaya was placed on a wanted list, and an arrest warrant was issued in her absence. The Russian government seized her assets valued at 153 million rubles ($2.2 million). She was also labelled a “foreign agent.”
Ms Belotserkovskaya is the second well-known public figure to be sentenced to jail in absentia and has received the longest prison term under the new rule.
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