A Russian court in Siberia sentenced a man to 19 years in prison on Friday for shooting a military officer, while prosecutors in St. Petersburg sought a 28-year sentence for a woman charged in the cafe bombing last April , in which a man was killed He is reportedly a prominent military blogger.
Both cases highlight the tensions in Russian society that have been exacerbated by President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine, with some opponents of the war resorting to violence.
In the Siberian city of Irkutsk, 26-year-old logging truck driver Ruslan Zinin was sentenced to 19 years in prison on Friday after he opened fire in September 2022 at the military recruiting office in Ust-Ilimsk, a city 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) north of Irkutsk. reported the state news agency Tass.
The shooting came days after Putin ordered a partial military mobilization to reinforce his forces fighting in Ukraine, sparking rare protests across Russia that were sometimes brutally suppressed.
Men without military experience or with prior exemption from military service were called up and drafted. Police rounded up men on the streets of Moscow and other cities or searched hostels and warehouses to find men of fighting age.
Zinin reportedly entered the draft office stating that “no one will go to fight” and opened fire, seriously wounding an officer. The independent news channel Telegram Solidarity Zone said it wanted to prevent his younger brother from being drafted.
In St. Petersburg, Tass said prosecutors on Friday called for a 28-year prison sentence for 26-year-old Darya Trepova over the cafe bombing that killed Vladlen Tatarsky, a pro-war military blogger who was a regular from the front lines in Ukraine reported.
Trepova was arrested after she appeared in a video showing Tatarsky displaying a bust of himself shortly before the explosion at a riverside cafe where he was leading a discussion. The explosion killed him and injured 50 others.
According to Russian media reports, she later claimed in court that she did not know the bust contained a bomb and said she had acted on the instructions of two men who told her there was a listening and tracking device inside.
Russian authorities blame Ukrainian intelligence for orchestrating the bombing. Kiev has not directly responded to the accusation, but an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has described the bombing as part of Russia's internal unrest.
The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) accused a Ukrainian citizen named Yuri Denysov of supplying Trepova with explosives via a courier service on behalf of the Ukrainian security service.
Tatarsky was the pseudonym of Maxim Fomin, who had hundreds of thousands of followers on his channel on the messaging app Telegram. He joined separatists in eastern Ukraine after a Moscow-backed uprising broke out there in 2014 and fought on the front lines for years before turning to blogging.
During the fighting in Ukraine, military bloggers in Russia have played an increasingly important role. They supported the Kremlin but often criticized the Russian military leadership for perceived shortcomings. In contrast to independent media or opposition figures, they were not punished for this criticism.
On Thursday, another court in St. Petersburg sentenced a nurse, Maxim Asriyan, to eight years in prison on terrorism and treason charges for plotting to set fire to an army recruiting office in 2022, Russian broadcaster SotaVision Telegram said.
The public prosecutor's office initially asked the court to sentence Asriyan to 14 years in prison, even though he did not carry out the attack, the station reported.