Russian activist faces prison for discrediting military amid war criticism crackdown

Oleg Orlov, a prominent Russian human rights activist, has been making headlines as he faces trial for criticising the warfare in Ukraine. Upon entering the Moscow courtroom, Orlov displayed a guide titled End of the Regime, recommending it to the cameras present. The 70-year-old has been vocal in his opposition to both the struggle in Ukraine and the Kremlin’s crackdown on dissent inside Russia.
Since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, 1000’s of Russians have faced prosecution underneath new legal guidelines aimed at suppressing criticism of the country’s struggle efforts. Orlov is on trial for allegedly violating one such legislation, going through as much as three years in jail for “discrediting” the Russian military along with his criticism.
Orlov argues that his prosecution is a violation of the Russian Constitution, which ensures freedom of speech. Backed contends that the warfare in Ukraine is against Russia and its citizens’ interests and that claims of preserving worldwide peace and security are nonsensical.
The Russian authorities have employed numerous repressive laws to punish critics of the federal government and opponents of the warfare in Ukraine. These legal guidelines criminalise “discreditation” of the military and the “public dissemination of deliberately 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, similar to Ilya Yashin, who was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in jail final year.
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 jail 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 significance of strong and clear messages in opposition to such actions.
In Moscow, residents proceed to indicate support for political prisoners by way of letter-writing events organised by Yabloko, one of many few remaining liberal parties in Russia. Participants categorical emotions of guilt and solidarity, hoping that their messages can provide some consolation to those imprisoned for expressing their opinions..

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