School teacher from Komi, northwestern Russia, Nikita Tushkanov has been sentenced to five years and six months behind bars, Mediazona reports citing his girlfriend.
Nikita Tushkanov. Photo: SOTA
Tushkanov has also been banned from running websites for three years, SOTA notes.
The teacher was found guilty of justifying terrorist activities and repeated “discreditation” of the Russian army.
The investigation team claimed that Tushkanov had been “forming ideas that terrorist activities are acceptable” and “creating a negative image” of the Russian army in VK, a Russian social media platform.
The state prosecution sought to land him in prison for six years.
Tushkanov was detained in December 2022. The terrorism justification charge came after his comment on the Crimean Bridge explosion. He was then sent to a pre-trial detention facility and added to the official “extremist and terrorist list”.
Tushkanov taught in a Syktyvkar school until March 2022 when he was fired for “immoral behaviour” after he joined protests against the Ukraine war. Tushkanov was fined twice for “discrediting” the Russian army over his VK posts. One of the fines was later reversed, but he also faced police action over petty hooliganism and demonstration of Nazi symbols.
The court dismissed the Nazi symbol demonstration case and cancelled the discreditation case fine last summer but the teacher was never able to find a job at another school afterwards.