The Military Court of Appeal has revised the sentence given to sociologist Boris Kagarlitsky for “justifying terrorism” last year over a social media post, cancelling the fine he was originally given and sentencing him to five years in prison, Russian state-owned news agency RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.
In mid-December, despite prosecutors requesting a custodial sentence of five and a half years, a court in the Republic of Komi in the Russian Arctic fined the sociologist 609,000 rubles (€6,250) for the public justification of terrorism over a social media post he wrote in October 2022 about the explosion on the Crimean Bridge.
“The Prosecutor’s Office filed a suit, saying I wouldn’t be able to pay the fine, so I should be imprisoned,” Kagarlitsky told Novaya Gazeta before the hearing.
“I’m ready for whichever outcome. I think we’ll win in court. But if not, you’ll have to fight for my release again.”
The charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment.
Kagarlitsky’s original post had predicted that there would be “supply issues, and not only in Crimea,” and discussed the possible economic and political fallout of the explosion.