On 30th of August, the Russian Prosecutor’s Office requested 24 years in prison for the journalist and specialist in military affairs Ivan Safronov, who was accused of treason and has been arrested since 2020, reported France Press.
“The prosecutor’s office requested that Safronov be found guilty of treason and sentenced to 24 years in prison,” said the Moscow City Prosecutor’s Office, quoted by TASS. The information was released after a closed court hearing.
Thirty-two-year-old Safronov is a defense expert and was arrested in July 2020, amid increasing pressure on the independent press in Russia.
According to Safronov’s colleagues, the trial against him is revenge for his articles, which described existing gaps in the armed forces and cases that put the army in an embarrassing position.
Since the following April, the hearings in Safronov’s case have been held behind closed doors, since it is about accusations of espionage and treason. When the trial began, the journalist declared his innocence and criticized the “incredible cynicism” of the Russian justice system.
Safronov worked for two Russian dailies – Vedomosti and Kommersant. After he was forced to leave Kommersant in 2019, in May 2020 he became an adviser to the former director of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin.
According to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSS), Safronov is suspected of “handing over state secrets related to Russia’s military-technical cooperation and security to an intelligence service of a NATO country.”
The Kremlin assures that the arrest of Ivan Safronov has nothing to do with his activities as a journalist
A Russian rapper who opposes the war in Ukraine can also be declared an extremist.
The Moscow prosecutor’s office asked a court to declare the work of the rapper Oxxxymiron, one of the most popular musicians in Russia, who publicly opposed the invasion of Ukraine, as “extremist”, reported Reuters.
A spokesman for the Moscow prosecutor’s office said the rapper was being investigated for “justifying violence” because of the content of one of his songs, Interfax reported. According to Russian law, any content declared “extremist” is banned, BTA reported.
Oksimiron, whose real name is Miron Fedorov, became known for his politicized song lyrics, often targeting the Kremlin and its policies. Shortly after the start of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, he canceled a planned tour of Russia, saying: “I can’t entertain you while Russian missiles are falling in Ukraine.” He then left Russia and gave a series of concerts in Istanbul, London and Berlin under the title “Russians against the war”. Proceeds from these events go to Ukrainian refugees.
Photo: Ivan Safronov stands in a defendant’s cell during a court hearing in Moscow on August 30, 2022 / Press Office of the Moscow City Court