Russian national sentenced to 5 years in prison for attempting to join Ukrainian forces

Russia’s Saratov region resident Kirill Belousov, 22, has been found guilty of attempting to travel to Ukraine to switch sides and fight against Russia and sent to a high-security prison for five years, the Bryansk regional court reports.

The man worked as a cashier in a food retailer chain. According to the court, he decided to join Ukraine’s Freedom of Russia Legion and fight against Russian troops.

“To achieve this goal, Belousov started communicating with a recruiter from Ukraine and actively training to fight,” the court noted.

Belousov “followed the recruiter’s instructions” and first arrived in Bryansk by train before switching to a bus to travel to a village on the Ukrainian border where he was detained.

“I sincerely regret this and ask you not to punish me harshly,” the court quoted Belousov as saying in his closing statement. The court claims that the man pled guilty.

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According to Mediazone, this is the fifth verdict delivered by the Bryansk regional court under this article of the Russian Criminal Code.

On 13 January, the Bryansk regional court sentenced Russian national Ilya Kutsev to 7 years in a high-security prison for attempting to join Ukrainian forces. On 14 December, Anatoly Syntulsky received five years behind bars for the same offence.

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