An anti-war Russian teenage girl condemned by her classmates faces a long prison term

An anti-war Russian teenage lady condemned by her classmates faces a protracted jail time period

The Russian authorities didn’t watch for the trial of Olesya Krivtsova, a 19-year-old pupil within the northern metropolis of Arkhangelsk, to start. before you add it to the listing of “terrorists and extremists”.

The designation got here on January 10 as Krivtsova spends her second month below home arrest, going through the opportunity of greater than 10 years in jail on fees of “justifying terrorism” and “discrediting the armed forces of the Russian Federation”.

“The worst prospects are swirling in my head,” Krivcova informed Present Time in an interview from her house. “I perceive properly that I might be imprisoned… I am making an attempt to return to phrases with that chance.”

Krivtsova’s Kafka case started on December 26, when the police confirmed as much as search the house she shares together with her husband.

“Olesya did not see the search,” her mom, Natalya Krivtsova, informed RFE/RL. “They took her from the house 10 minutes after they arrived.

Through the search, a police officer stood over Krivcov and intimidated her with a sledgehammer, her mom mentioned. Later, an officer on the Residence Workplace’s counter-extremism heart individually informed her and her husband that the go to was “a greeting from the Wagner mercenary group”.

Nineteen-year-old Olesya Krivtsova in a courtroom in Arkhangelsk.

Nineteen-year-old Olesya Krivtsova in a courtroom in Arkhangelsk.

Just some weeks in the past, Wagner’s group related to the Kremlin posted a brutal video during which convicted assassin Yevgeny Nuzhin, who had been recruited from jail to battle in Ukraine, was branded a traitor and killed by having his cranium crushed with a sledgehammer. The video was known as The Hammer Of Revenge.

For the reason that unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, thousands of anti-war opponents they confronted prosecution and persecution below rapidly handed legal guidelines that criminalize the deliberate dissemination of what the state says is fake details about the warfare or “discrediting” the armed forces. Krivtsova herself was fined 30,000 rubles ($425) in April for posting anti-war stickers in public.

‘Destruction of a Man’s Life’

Through the first courtroom hearings after Krivts’ arrest, it was revealed that the case towards her was based mostly on a tip from college colleagues who participated in a closed college Telegram chat that RFE/RL was capable of monitor.

“On the listening to they talked about two names of people that I knew have been in that chat. They mentioned the easiest way to report – the police or the police [Federal Security Service]” she informed Present Time, a Russian-language community operated by RFE/RL in partnership with VOA.

“I knew them earlier than,” she added. “I had fairly a nice relationship with one. Typically we bumped into one another and talked. The second witness as soon as helped me carry a heavy bag. The weirdest half is that one in every of them despatched me a replica of the chat.’

She added that her legal professionals haven’t obtained copies of any depositions that will have been filed.

In October, chat contributors have been discussing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when one in every of them posted screenshots from Krivtsova’s Instagram tales, during which she reposted Ukrainian authorities’ suggestions that Russian troopers ought to give up and images of Ukrainian civilians killed.

“That is unlawful,” one participant wrote. “Possibly a case must be opened?”

Moments later, the identical participant wrote: “I wrote to the commander. He has buddies in [security] authorities and can seek the advice of with them.”

The case against Krivts was apparently based on allegations from fellow university students who participated in a closed university Telegram chat.  (file photo)

The case towards Krivts was apparently based mostly on allegations from fellow college college students who participated in a closed college Telegram chat. (file picture)

Somebody then posted a screenshot of a publish by college lecturer Aleksei Feldt, who wrote that “convictions don’t make an individual a patriot”, and contributors began discussing it.

“I believe reporting and swearing at somebody are two various things,” wrote one in every of them. “Criticizing somebody is finished for private causes.”

“What we now have right here is prohibited motion. I believe we now have an obligation to talk up, particularly understanding what they’re doing to our boys who give up,” added one other, apparently referring to unsubstantiated Russian propaganda claims that Russian prisoners are routinely abused in Ukrainian custody.

“Denunciation is the responsibility of a patriot,” wrote a 3rd. “And even higher – publicity within the media.” Bullying works higher than the Residence Workplace.’

Olesya takes these accusations as a tough course of that she should endure. The principle factor is that it was not damaged and it isn’t damaged.”

Krivcova mentioned she believed the scholars have been motivated by “ideological” beliefs.

“I believe all of them imagine that their actions have been cheap and truthful and that I must be punished in accordance with the regulation,” she mentioned. “I imagine they’re guided solely by such concepts.

“Folks imbued with a militaristic ideology could simply search out dissidents as a result of they assume that dissent may result in the defeat of the navy, the president or the nation,” she mentioned. “So that they assume they’re condemning ‘for good.’ No less than in their very own minds.

“However even if you’re ideological, even if you’re able to defend your nation by such means, you’ll most likely discover one other means,” she added. “Destroying an individual’s life due to their opinions – on this case fairly innocent ones – is immoral.”

Thriller tickets

Two days after her arrest, Krivtsova confronted a detention listening to, throughout which the courtroom ordered her to stay below home arrest till her trial.

Per week later, the police arrested her once more. They requested for a brand new custody listening to, arguing in courtroom that two one-way prepare tickets to Russia’s border areas had been bought in her title and claiming she was a flight danger. Krivtsova denies shopping for the tickets and provides that she couldn’t do it as a result of she doesn’t have a sound inside passport.

Through the listening to, protection attorneys requested for state railroad information exhibiting when, the place and the way the alleged tickets have been bought, and for the chance to query any witnesses. The choose rejected their request.

In the long run, the courtroom rejected the prosecution’s request to maintain her in custody, as a substitute including restrictions to accommodate arrest that stop her from utilizing the Web.

“She didn’t violate the phrases of her home arrest and didn’t impede the investigation,” Krivtsova’s mom mentioned. “Olesya takes these allegations as a tough course of that she has to undergo.” The principle factor is that it was not damaged and isn’t damaged.

“Olesya did not do something fallacious,” she mentioned. “She’s not responsible of something.” He has nothing to be sorry for.”

Written by RFE/RL correspondent Robert Coalson based mostly on RFE/RL’s North.Realities studies. Present Time correspondent Kirill Belov-Belikov additionally contributed to this report.


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