Russian Court Sentences Pussy Riot Member to Six Years in Prison for Anti-War Tweets

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

A Russian court sentenced Pussy Riot member Liudmila (Lucy) Stein to six years in prison in absentia for spreading false information about the Russian Armed Forces. The Prosecutor’s Office had 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. 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.

The criminal case against Stein was based on a tweet she posted in March 2022 commenting on a video showing Ukrainian soldiers shooting at Russian prisoners of war. She 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.

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 requested an eight-and-a-half-year sentence for Stein, but she was ultimately sentenced to six years in prison.

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