Ex-serviceman turned YouTuber charged with ‘discrediting army’

Askhabali Alibekov, a former serviceman from Novorossiysk and now a YouTuber known as ‘wild paratrooper’ has been charged with “discrediting the Russian army,” his wife told Kavkaz.Realii.

“It’s all about his YouTube videos. He was fined twice, with a total penalty of 80,000 rubles (€1,300) and now he’s been declared a repeated offender. The Investigative committee is behind the criminal procedure,” she said.

Ali Alibekov, image captured from one of his videos on YouTube

Ali Alibekov, image captured from one of his videos on YouTube

Alibekov is facing a fine of up to 300,000 rubles (€4,800) or up to 3 years in prison. He was detained for a day on 6 September when the FSB visited him at his house; he later signed a written pledge not to leave town, use the Internet, or attend public events. He reported this a few days ago via his YouTube channel.

Alibekov is 50 years of age, he hails from Dagestan and fought in the Second Chechen War. In 2017, he faced a suspended 3-year prison sentence for physical abuse of a subordinate soldier. He became known nationwide in 2018 after he published a video titled 'A Dagestani Paratrooper is against Putin,’ where he criticised Russia’s President.

“Listen, Vladimir! You have been ruling our country for 20 years already, and you’re lying that we don’t have any troops in Ukraine, you put us and Ukrainians against each other! If you get rid of all Ukrainians, who’s next in the line, Belarusians or Tatars? All our graveyards are full of young lads’ dead bodies,” he said in the video.

After Alibekov started publishing a lot of videos to his channel, he was dismissed from military service and had his suspended sentence replaced by actual imprisonment.

Alibekov was released in March 2022, as he says in one of his videos. He immediately started speaking up against the Ukraine War.

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