A Russian journalist and blogger has been jailed for nine years for writing that Russian soldiers are demolishing cities in Ukraine
A Moscow court today sentenced in absentia a popular Russian cooking book and TV show author, journalist and blogger to nine years in prison for "spreading false information about the Russian army".
The accusation against Veronika Belotserkovskaya (52), who lives in France, has been charged over her Instagram posts, which authorities say contain "deliberately inaccurate information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to destroy cities and the civilian population of Ukraine, including children."
On news of the verdict, Belotserkovskaya, who was born in Odesa, a coastal city in southern Ukraine, said she was "confused on the one hand and, of course, proud on the other."
Belotserkovskaya's trial is part of the Kremlin's months-long showdown with opponents of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Russia's Investigative Committee announced criminal proceedings against Belotserkovskaya back in March 2022, just weeks after Russian troops invaded Ukraine and occupied parts of its territory. It was the first known case of the new law, also passed in March 2022, punishing the dissemination of information the Kremlin deems harmful to the Russian military.
Kremlin authorities issued a warrant for the blogger and seized her property in Russia worth 153 million rubles (about $2,2 million), which she acquired as a publisher and media entrepreneur. She was declared a "foreign agent", which meant increased government surveillance and public discredit.