Russian activist faces prison for discrediting army amid warfare criticism crackdown

Oleg Orlov, a distinguished Russian human rights activist, has been making headlines as he faces trial for criticising the war in Ukraine. Upon coming into Ultimate , Orlov displayed a book titled End of the Regime, recommending it to the cameras present. The 70-year-old has been vocal in his opposition to both the war in Ukraine and the Kremlin’s crackdown on dissent inside Russia.
Since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, hundreds of Russians have confronted prosecution underneath new legal guidelines geared toward suppressing criticism of the country’s war efforts. Orlov is on trial for allegedly violating one such regulation, going through up to three years in jail for “discrediting” the Russian army together with his criticism.
Orlov argues that his prosecution is a violation of the Russian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech. He additionally contends that the struggle in Ukraine is in opposition to Russia and its citizens’ pursuits and that claims of preserving worldwide peace and safety are nonsensical.
The Russian authorities have employed numerous repressive laws to punish critics of the government and opponents of the struggle in Ukraine. These laws criminalise “discreditation” of the military and the “public dissemination of intentionally false details about the usage of the Russian armed forces.” The latter, often referred to as the “Law on Fakes,” has been used to imprison vocal Kremlin critics, such as Ilya Yashin, who was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail last yr.
Other examples of the crackdown on dissent embrace theatre director Zhenya Berkovich, charged with “justifying terrorism” after writing and posting anti-war poems, and Kremlin critic and anti-war activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, convicted of treason and sentenced to 25 years in a prison colony.
Orlov’s trial has attracted international condemnation, with the Council of Europe denouncing it as “a travesty of justice.” The organisation’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, emphasised the importance of robust and clear messages towards such actions.
In Moscow, citizens proceed to indicate help for political prisoners via letter-writing occasions organised by Yabloko, one of the few remaining liberal parties in Russia. Participants specific feelings of guilt and solidarity, hoping that their messages can provide some consolation to those imprisoned for expressing their opinions..

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