Since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his allies have been cracking down on dissidents and activists who have spoken out against the war.
The Kremlin has passed a law that punishes journalists and activists for publishing “fake news” about the war with up to 15 years in prison, in what Putin calls “special military operations.”
Hundreds of thousands of people have reportedly demonstrated peacefully against the war, and thousands have been arrested, fined or punished for it. Human Rights Watch. The growing list includes journalists, human rights defenders, protest organizers and local politicians.
Here are the most famous Russians we know of who were punished for speaking out against the war.
Vladimir Kara-Murza and Ilya Krasilshchik
One of the Kremlin’s most active critics and dissidents, Vladimir Kara-Murza is Held until June 12 And he is awaiting trial for speaking out against the war.
Kara-Murza is accused of condemning the Ukraine war in a March 15 address to the Arizona House of Representatives.
He is a journalist and a former colleague of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was assassinated in 2015. Kara-Murza himself survived two poisoning attempts.
On the same day that the charges against him were announced, Russian authorities disclosed separate charges against former Meduza publisher Ilya Krasilshchik.
Krasilshchik is accused of spreading “fake” news about the massacre in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, which has led to war crimes charges against Moscow.
Krasilshchik, who wrote a New York Times article critical of Kremlin In March, it was reported that he had fled the country and continued to report on the war.
A reporter for Channel One, one of Russia’s most popular state-run news channels, has been fined $270 for organizing an unsanctioned protest.
Ovsyannikova appeared on a TV show behind the anchor during a live broadcast, holding an anti-war sign that read: “Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They’re here to lie to you.”
After her release from fast-track detention, Ovsyannikova says she “Want to show the world that the Russians are against war.”
“I realized I either needed to do something, or we were going to a point of no return and it was going to be harder and harder to do anything,” she said on CNN.
Lev Ponomarev, a former member of the Russian Parliament and head of the nonprofit For Human Rights, is one of Russia’s largest and best-known activists.
Days after the invasion, Ponomarev was arrested and fined 30,000 rubles after authorities said he had organized a protest in Moscow, According to Russia’s Interfax news agency.
Ponomarev announced last month that he was leaving Russia. The 80-year-old activist said he was increasingly concerned, citing “cryptic information about what they were planning to do to me” and his listing as a foreign agent.
“I doubt my sabbatical will last long,” Ponomarev told AFP on April 22.
Aleksandr Nevzorov is one of Russia’s most popular journalists and a former MP.
He has since resigned from Leningad TV (now Channel 5) and others, but Nevzorov has continued to blog and record videos on Russian affairs, which often criticize the government.
In March, he drew the ire of the Kremlin by criticizing Russia for bombing a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. The Russian Investigative Committee specifically accused him of posting photos and reporting on the maternity hospital bombing to his large following on Instagram and YouTube.
A court ordered Nezorov, who is currently in Israel, to be detained for two months after returning to Russia for spreading false information about the country’s armed forces, According to Radio Free Europe.
Russia has denied responsibility for the hospital attack that killed at least three people, including a child.
Once on the side of Russian nationalists, the Russian journalist has rebelled in recent years and has become a staunch Kremlin critic.
Nevzorov has no plans to permanently move to Israel and is trying to dismiss the case against him.
RusNews reporter Maria Ponomarenko was sentenced to two months in prison for publishing information about the Russian bombing of the Mariupol theater, where hundreds of Ukrainians are hiding.
The company itself was the target of a Kremlin crackdown, and police arrested Ponomarenko in late April on charges of spreading “false stories about the Russian military,” Russian media outlet Sota.Vison reported.
Sota.Vision wrote on its Telegram channel that Ponomarenko has two children who will have to live with her grandparents while she is incarcerated.
The Siberian news outlet RusNews has long criticized Moscow’s leadership. Ponomarenko has covered anti-war rallies and has written extensively on anti-Putin for the site.
Her arrest drew police attention Committee to Protect Journalistswho called on Moscow to release her immediately.