Pussy Riot Member Liudmila Stein Sentenced to Six Years in Prison in Absentia for Spreading ‘False Information’ about Russian Armed Forces

Pussy Riot member in Russia sentenced to six years in prison for spreading “false information” about Ukraine war

Russian court sentenced Pussy Riot member Liudmila Stein, who is on Russia’s wanted list and currently residing in Iceland, to six years in prison in absentia for spreading “false information” about the Russian Armed Forces. The Prosecutor’s Office had requested an eight-year sentence and a four-year internet ban. Stein was accused of sharing false information about the Armed Forces on Twitter.

The criminal case against Stein was based on a tweet she posted in March 2022 commenting on a video showing Ukrainian soldiers shooting at Russian prisoners of war. Prior to this, she had been sentenced to one year of restriction of freedom for violating sanitary regulations during a demonstration in support of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. After the war began, Stein cut off her electronic ankle bracelet and fled Russia.

At least 19,855 people have been detained in Russia for expressing anti-war views since President Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Pussy Riot gained notoriety for their protest at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2012. Stein and her girlfriend and fellow Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina eventually settled in Iceland after being granted citizenship.

Prosecutors had requested an eight-and-a-half-year sentence for Stein, who is now residing in Iceland with her partner and two children. Stein’s mother had joked that they would ask for a nine-year sentence, while Stein herself has denied any wrongdoing and expressed plans to appeal the verdict.

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