Russian artist Alexandra Skochilenko receives a seven-year jail sentence for disseminating "false information" about the Russian military. Skochilenko's offense involved substituting supermarket price tags with messages criticizing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The case reflects the increasing government crackdown on free speech and opposition, resulting in the detainment, fines, or imprisonment of numerous Russians who oppose Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Skochilenko's arrest took place in April 2022, prompted by a customer's discovery of the politically charged slogans on the price tags, leading them to report the incident to the police. Along with the prison sentence, the court also imposes a three-year internet usage ban on Skochilenko. The delivered verdict shocks her supporters, while international human rights group Amnesty International denounces the ruling. Moreover, Memorial, a banned human rights organization in Russia, designates Skochilenko as a political prisoner and engages in a campaign advocating for her release.In a recent development, opposition politician Vladimir Milov has been found guilty of spreading false information about the army, resulting in an eight-year prison sentence. A former deputy energy minister of Russia, Milov has been an active supporter of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny. However, it is worth noting that Milov is currently residing outside the country.