Russian man sentenced to five years of community service for street interview with Radio Liberty

Yury Kokhovets. Photo: SOTAvision

Yury Kokhovets. Photo: SOTAvision

A Moscow court sentenced a man to five years of correctional labour for spreading “false information” about the Russian army during an interview with Radio Liberty, Telegram channel Ostorozhno Novosti reported Monday.

Muscovite Yury Kokhovets was found guilty over his criticism of the war in Ukraine during a street survey in July 2022.

Speaking about the Russian massacre of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha, Kokhovets said that the military shot “civilians for no reason at all”.

“Our government says that it fights nationalists, but it bombs shopping centres instead,” Kokhovets said.

A criminal case against Kokhovets was first opened on 23 March 2023 and he was arrested the following day. During his final testimony Kokhovets said he “regretted” making those statements, which he said were misinformed, but denied being motivated by “political hatred”.

The prosecution initially requested that Kokhovets be sentenced to 5.5 years behind bars.

Kokhovets told SOTAvision news outlet that he was “satisfied” with the court ruling, adding that he felt he “got lucky for once in his life”. His defence is not planning to appeal the sentence.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), a US-funded news outlet, was branded a “foreign agent” by the Russian authorities in 2017 and designated an “undesirable” organisation in February.

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