Elderly priest to be charged with ‘discrediting’ Russian army

An 86-year-old priest from Russia’s southern Krasnodar region says he is being charged for “discrediting” the Russian army in an article he wrote condemning the war in Ukraine.

Viktor Pivovarov, from the town of Slavyansk-on-Kuban, has already been fined for the content of one of his sermons, following his denunciation by an unknown member of the congregation. He nevertheless remains defiant.

“The current government is the successor to the Bolsheviks who staged a coup in 1917, and it continues their satanic work,” Pivovarov told Kavkaz.Realii, part of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, on Thursday.

The priest, who does not have a lawyer, said that his interrogation was attended by a state-appointed lawyer who “remained silent the entire time”.

In March, a court fined Pivovarov 40,000 rubles (€450) for the content of one of his sermons, which it ruled had discredited the Russian army. Pivovarov didn’t appeal the decision and his parishioners clubbed together to pay the fine.

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