Two Russian citizens were sentenced to several years in prison on Wednesday for “high treason” and accused of trying to integrate into or recruit for the Ukrainian army. Cases of this kind are increasing in the country.
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Andrei Vassiurenko, a student at a maritime university in Karelia, northwestern Russia, was sentenced to nine years in prison on various charges including “terrorist activities” and “incitement to treason,” state press Ria Novosti reported.
According to the agency, he was arrested in March 2023 after “making calls to join the ranks of the Ukrainian army to take part in hostilities.”
Beslan Tsechoyev was sentenced to five years in prison by a court in Ingushetia, a Russian republic in the Caucasus, for “attempting to join the Ukrainian armed forces” and for “arms trafficking,” Ria Novosti reported.
Few details are known about these trials, as well as other cases of “treason” that have become increasingly common since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, as they take place behind closed doors.
According to Moscow, several people have been detained for “sabotage” or planning attacks on behalf of Ukraine. Others were accused of trying to set fire to military recruiting centers.
Thousands of other Russians were also prosecuted and, in some cases, severely sentenced, for their resistance to the offensive in Ukraine. Almost all major opponents are in prison or abroad.