Russian teenager sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for anti-war posts

A military court in the city of Chita in Russia’s Far East has sentenced a teenager to 3.5 years in prison for operating anti-war Telegram channels, the Net Freedoms Project said Thursday.

Lyubov Lizunova, 17, was found guilty on two separate charges of calling for extremism and terrorism for posting news about “direct anti-war action”.

A second defendant in the case, 19-year-old Alexander Snezhkov, was sentenced to five years in prison. A third — 23-year-old Vladislav Vishnevsky — was given one and a half years of community service.

Lyubov Lizunova with friends. Photo from private archive

Lyubov Lizunova with friends. Photo from private archive

Lizunova, Snezhkov and Vishnevsky were first detained in October 2022 on suspicion of painting “Death to the regime!” on a garage wall in Chita and operating two Telegram channels that published information on anti-war guerrilla activities and animal rights.

The trio were initially released from custody and had their movements strictly limited. However, local news website Chita.Ru wrote in March 2023 that Snezhkov and Lizunova had been apprehended while attempting to leave the country. Snezhkov was placed in pretrial detention and Lizunova under house arrest. All three were registered as terrorists and extremists.

Lizunova was placed in pretrial detention earlier this month. Lawyer Yevgeny Smirnov told reporters at the time that a minor can only be transferred from house arrest to pretrial detention when there has been a change in circumstances, such as the violation of previously imposed restrictions or new criminal charges.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.