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Pro-war Russian blogger Girkin sentenced to four years in prison

Pro-war Russian blogger Girkin sentenced to four years in prison Photo: Igor Girkin (Getty Images)

A Russian court has sentenced the former Defense Minister of the DNR (Donetsk People's Republic) Igor Girkin to four years in prison. He was accused of public calls for extremist activity, informs BBC.

During the debates on January 18, the prosecutor requested a four-year and 11-month prison sentence for the terrorist in a general regime colony. However, the maximum punishment in Russia for public calls for extremist activity is five years of imprisonment.

The court proceedings took place in closed sessions, despite Girkin and his defense requesting to allow the public and journalists.

Girkin's arrest

The terrorist was detained in July 2023. At that time, charges were brought against him for publications on Telegram where he urged the FSB to engage in extremism. He denied the charges.

In November, while in pre-trial detention, Girkin announced his intention to run for the presidency of Russia in 2024. He called on his associates to start a campaign for his candidacy and create an initiative group to collect signatures. His plans failed.

Who is Igor Girkin

Igor Strelkov, also known by the alias Girkin, is a former FSB officer who participated in the occupation of the Donetsk region in 2014. He led the so-called Ministry of Defense of the DNR at that time.

Additionally, he was implicated in the destruction of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014. The Hague Tribunal found Strelkov guilty of downing the plane and issued an international arrest warrant. Russia refuses to extradite him to face justice.

After the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Girkin actively criticized the Russian military leadership and personally accused dictator Vladimir Putin. He blamed them for failures on the front lines.