Silenced in Absentia: Russian Court Sends Pussy Riot Member Liudmila Stein to Six Years in Prison for ‘False Information’ on Twitter

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

In absentia, a Russian court sentenced Pussy Riot member Liudmila (Lucy) Stein to six years in prison for spreading “false information” about the Russian Armed Forces. The Prosecutor’s Office had originally requested an eight-year sentence and a four-year internet ban.

Stein, who is abroad and on Russia’s wanted list, was accused of sharing false information about the Armed Forces on Twitter. Her criminal case was based on a tweet she posted in March 2022 commenting on a video showing Ukrainian soldiers shooting at Russian prisoners of war. Stein had previously 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 started, Stein cut off her electronic ankle bracelet and left 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 a protest in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2012. Stein fled Moscow with her girlfriend and fellow Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina, eventually settling in Iceland where she was granted citizenship.

Prosecutors had originally requested an eight-and-a-half-year sentence for Stein, who is now residing in Iceland after being granted citizenship. Stein’s mother had joked that they would ask for a nine-year sentence.

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