Home / News / World /  Putin's critic sentenced 8 years in jail for spreading ‘fake news' on Ukraine invasion

On February 1, a Moscow court found prominent Russian journalist Alexander Nevzorov guilty of disseminating "false news" about the Russian army and sentenced him in absentia to eight years in prison, according to state media.

Soon after the invasion started, Nevzorov departed Russia with his wife. His website has been blacklisted by Roskomnadzor, the Russian censor. Nevzorov was labelled a "foreign agent" by Russia's Justice Ministry in April 2022.

Nevzorov has frequently blamed Putin's administration for instigating the conflict. In addition, Putin has been ruthless toward Russian society, accusing it of aiding the invaders. Nevzorov has been charged with disinformation under the new Russian law against "fake news" concerning the military, along with other Russians who question the state's exclusive control over information about the conflict.

Also Read: Vladimir Putin threatened to ‘hurt’ Boris Johnson ‘with a missile’

Investigators started an investigation against Nevzorov in 2022 because of social media statements in which he claimed that Russia's military had purposefully shelled a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, which Moscow claimed was untrue. In March, Nevzorov's wife posted on Instagram that she and her husband were travelling in Israel.

Nevzorov’s YouTube channel has nearly two million subscribers. A probe started after he reported that, in the city of Mariupol, a maternity facility had been deliberately attacked by Russian soldiers. Russia rejected the bombing and accused Ukraine of staging it.

Also Read: Russia vows to ‘burn’ German, US tanks in Ukraine

As punishment for allegedly distributing "false news" on the invasion of Ukraine, the prosecution had previously sought to sentence Nevzorov to nine years in a penitentiary colony.

In addition, the prosecution sought the court to prohibit Nevzorov from creating any internet content for four years following the completion of his prison term.

In June 2022, Nevzorov and his wife Lydia were awarded Ukrainian citizenship. In a post on the Telegram messenger, Nevzorov acknowledged that he had been granted Ukrainian citizenship and claimed that Russia's war against Ukraine was illegal and caused Ukraine to suffer.

(With agency inputs)

Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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