Russian activist gets 15-year sentence for attempting to set fire to a military conscription office

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian activist has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for attempting to set fire to a military conscription office in protest against the Russian action in Ukraine, officials said Friday.

A military court in Khabarovsk, in Russia’s far east, said Angel Nikolayev was convicted on charges of terrorism for placing two bottles containing a flammable substance in the windows of a district conscription office in the city and setting them ablaze.

Nikolayev, 39, was also convicted of damaging Russian flags that were put on the graves of soldiers killed in action in Ukraine at a local cemetery. In addition to that, he was found guilty of removing symbols of Russian military action in Ukraine from a bus stop and several vehicles in Khabarovsk.

The Solidarity Zone, a Russian messaging app channel that follows protests by opponents of Moscow’s action in Ukraine, said that Nikolayev had pleaded guilty to the charges but didn’t express regret.

The Kremlin’s crackdown against opposition activists, independent journalists and government critics has intensified since Russia sent its troops into Ukraine in February 2022. Hundreds have faced criminal charges over protests and remarks condemning the war in Ukraine, and thousands have been fined or briefly jailed.

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