The Belgorod city court has sentenced a Russian man to three years behind bars for attempting to leave the country to join the Ukrainian army, RIA Novosti was told by the regional office of the FSB.
The ruling came in January. The man was found guilty of gearing up to join an armed group in a foreign country which undermines Russia’s interests.
“The convicted man pleaded guilty of committing the offence and noted that he regrets,” the FSB office added.
The agency told RIA Novosti that the man, born in 2001, travelled to Belgorod, a Russian city located near the Ukrainian border, from Salekhard and “attempted to enter Ukraine to join the fighting on the side of Ukraine’s Nazi battalions”.
The verdict has officially entered into force.
Mediazona writes that the man is named Maxim and is 21 years old.
In February 2022, he staged a one-man protest with a poster that read “Innocent people are dying in Ukraine instead of phantom Nazis!” and soon travelled to the Belgorod region without warning his family. The man was arrested in late April.
Ria Novosti reported that the man was arrested and published a video of him. “I was going to travel to Ukraine to join the international legion of the Ukrainian territorial defence unit because I had money problems and I wanted to earn some. I wanted to donate most of my earnings to Ukraine for infrastructure repairs,” he said on camera.