Russian bartender handed 25-year jail sentence for railway arson

A court in Moscow has sentenced a bartender from the Moscow region to 25 years in prison after finding him guilty of sabotage, participation in a terrorist organisation, and treason for setting fire to a railway equipment case, independent news outlet Mediazona reported on Thursday.

Vladimir Malina, 36, is to spend the first five years of his sentence in prison and the next 20 in a high-security penal colony. The prosecution had asked for a sentence of 28 years. Malina’s lawyer left the Moscow court before the sentence was announced.

According to the prosecution, Malina set fire to a railway equipment case near Naro-Fominsk, in the Moscow region, in April last year. Nobody was injured in the incident. Malina told investigators that he acted on his own initiative, but they alleged he underwent training in “sabotage and terrorist activities” and received instructions from a handler.

In November, independent news outlet Vot Tak, quoting a source in the Interior Ministry, said Malina was being prosecuted for involvement with the Freedom of Russia Legion, which Russia declared a terrorist organisation in March last year.

While still at liberty, Malina attempted to set fire to several other relay boxes and a police station until he was apprehended by law enforcement in June, Mediazona reported.

In January, a St. Petersburg court sentenced a teenager to eight years in prison for setting fire to a railway equipment case with the intention of “undermining Russia’s economic security and defence capability”.

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