Russian journalist given jail time for Ukraine coverage
Alexander Nevzorov was sentenced to eight years in prison in absentia. He was targeted for his reporting on the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine.
A Russian court on Wednesday sentenced veteran journalist Alexander Nevzorov in absentia to eight years in prison. Nevzorov, 64, was found guilty of spreading "false information" about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Nevzorov, who has fled Russia, was accused of manipulating coverage of the siege of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. He came under particular scrutiny for reporting that Moscow's troops purposely bombed a maternity hospital in the port city.
Authorities immediately launched an investigation under a new "false information" law aimed at silencing voices who dissent from the Kremlin's official line about the war.
Investigators said Nevzorov intentionally published "misleading information" with "inaccurate photographs of civilians affected by the shelling."
Who is Alexander Nevzorov?
Nevzorov is a former politician and political commentator who supported President Vladimir Putin's 2012 election but then broke with the leader over the 2014 annexation of Crimea. He subsequently returned to journalism and amassed a YouTube following of nearly 2 million subscribers.
He is one of many politicians and public figures who have faced prison time under the new law, including prominent opposition lawmaker Ilya Yashin, who is currently serving a prison sentence of eight and a half years.
Commenting on the verdict, and that prosecutors had asked for a nine-year jail term, Nevzorov said "I don't think Russia will exist in nine years time."
He added that he and his wife have no plans to return to Putin's Russia, "a dictatorship based on dirt, blood and denunciations."
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