Russian opposition faces jail for tweets about Ukraine

On Friday, Russian authorities opened an investigation against political opposition leader Khilga Pirogova, accused of “spreading false information “after criticizing the organization of lavish funerals for the killed soldiers in Ukraine.

The investigative commission, which deals with the main criminal cases, said it was prosecuting Pirogova for “disseminating misleading information on the use of the armed forces”.

The Russian opposition faces a three-year prison sentence, according to an article of the penal code referred to. She was briefly detained and interrogated at the Novosibirsk police station on Thursday in Siberia, where it is a member of the municipality.

In contact with the AFP, Pirogova, 33, said she was four months pregnant. “They need an internal enemy that they can fight easily because they have more difficulty with their external enemy,” she added.

On Twitter on July 15, Khilga Pirogova commented on a text posted on the site web independent MediaZona that evokes the lavish funerals organized for Russian volunteers killed during the battles in Ukraine. “These fanciful funerals are organized for nothing,” she said, adding that she wanted to “collect” these volunteers, “slap them and take them back to their graves.”

Subsequently, Khilga Pirogova deleted this tweet in the face of the scandal caused by her statements after it was reported by media Russians, who demanded his punishment.

Wednesday admitted in a message on Facebook that his reaction was “extremely emotional”. She said she was shocked that the authorities were trying to compensate for the pain of the relatives of the dead soldiers with large funerals while they live. “in poverty”.

Khilga Pirogova has been a member of the Novosibirsk municipality since 2020. She campaigned for the local group in support of well-known Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who is serving a nine-year prison sentence.

Since the attack on Ukraine in late February, the slightest criticism of the military operation can be met with heavy fines or harsh legal procedures. On July 8, Moscow city official Alexei Gourinov was sentenced to seven years in prison for condemning the Russian attack on Ukraine.