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First criminal case for “false information” about the Russian army

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The Russian judiciary opened the first three criminal cases on Wednesday for spreading “false information” about the Russian military. Investigators are targeting two unidentified suspects from Tomsk and Seversk in Siberia, as well as Russian expatriate Veronika Belotserkovskaya, the Russian Investigative Committee website reported on Wednesday.

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An international arrest warrant will be issued for Belotserkovskaya, who is followed by 900,000 people on the online service Instagram. According to the investigation committee, the suspects are said to have spread “false information” on the Internet about the actions of Russian troops in Ukraine in early March.

The investigations are possible under a new law that was passed in early March, amid the Ukraine conflict. It provides for prison sentences of up to 15 years and is of particular concern to members of the opposition and media critical of the Kremlin, who fear prosecution for statements about the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

Television employee Marina Ovsjannikova is also threatened with such a procedure. On Monday night, during a live news broadcast on the state television channel Kanal One, she stood behind the presenter with a sign calling for an end to the war in Ukraine and warning against propaganda. (AFP)

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