19-year-old Russian student Olesya Krivtsova.
The Russian student Olesja Kriwtsowa (19) is going through a lot. After she shared an Instagram post last October, shortly after the explosion on the Crimean bridge, in which she criticized Russia for its warmongering, she is now under suspicion of terrorism, according to a report by the Washington Post.
Krivtsova’s fellow students at the university in the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk became aware of the contribution. Two of them are said to have been unhappy with their anti-war content on social media. They took screenshots of the Instagram post and other comments. They then shared the posts in a small chat room on the Telegram messaging app and also reported them to the authorities.
Three months later they became active. Krivtsova had bad news to fear, because the laws passed last March to suppress public criticism of the war have given Russia’s law enforcement officers a practically free hand.
Indeed, the authorities considered the social media posts sufficient to put Krivtsowa on a list of terrorists and extremists that also includes members of the Islamic State, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. In addition, she was charged with disparaging the Russian army.
“Didn’t think I’d be judged for that”
In an interview with the local medium “29.ru”, the student is surprised. “When I wrote these posts, I didn’t think I would be judged for it.” Kriwtsowa is also on everyone’s lips in the state media. The Rossija 24 broadcaster recently broadcast a talk show episode dedicated to her, in which guests called her an “idiot”. One invited politician even suggested sending her to the eastern Ukrainian Donbass region so that she could “look Russian soldiers in the eye” and visit the graves of the fallen soldiers.
Krivtsova is now under house arrest awaiting a trial that could see her sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. In the eyes of the Russian authorities, the student is a repeat offender.
show trial as a deterrent
Shortly after the outbreak of war, Krivtsowa came under the scrutiny of the authorities for the first time. She was fined the equivalent of CHF 400 for publicly “discrediting the Russian armed forces” for hanging up anti-war posters in the center of Arkhangelsk.
After that, the student was arrested twice, the first time at the end of December. A judge ruled to restrict their communications but declined to restrict their movement, despite prosecutors’ insistence that this should be the case.
A few days later, Krivtsowa was put on a wanted list and arrested again. Why is not clear. According to Krivtsova’s mother, investigators accused her of buying travel tickets to leave the country. In doing so, she violated the restrictions imposed during her first prison term.
Now the student is back in court. At the moment, Krivtsowa is not allowed to use the phone or the Internet. Since she has also been classified as a terrorist, her bank accounts are blocked. She is not allowed to spend more than $145 a month on basic necessities.
Experts now assume that she will be convicted in a show trial. Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin (70) wants to cause fear and terror. Especially among people opposed to the Russian invasion. (ced)