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Russia jails barman for 25 years for pro-Ukraine sabotage

By AFP

May 23, 2024 10:18 PM


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Russia on Thursday jailed a barman for 25 years for joining a unit of Russians fighting for Ukraine and carrying out sabotage of railway equipment.

Russia has reported numerous incidents of sabotage since the start of its "special military operation" in Ukraine in 2022, many of them targeting railways, and courts have handed harsh sentences to those linked to pro-Ukrainian armed groups.

A Moscow military court found 36-year-old Vladimir Malina, who worked at a restaurant in the Moscow region, guilty of treason and various terror and sabotage charges including taking part in a terror organisation.

Malina set fire to a railway relay box last year after joining the Freedom of Russia Legion, a group of fighters who claim to have participated in daring cross-border raids into Ukraine, prosecutors said in a statement.

They said a handler from the Legion gave orders to Malina and in April last year he set fire to equipment that controlled a railway level crossing in the Moscow region.

He later tried to set fire to several other relay cabinets and a police station before being detained later that year, prosecutors said.

At an earlier court hearing, Malina partially admitted guilt but denied treason, TASS news agency reported.

Earlier Thursday, Russian media reported that a student who agreed to post leaflets about the Legion had been sentenced to 13 years in jail.

Last month, Russia jailed a man for 10 years for planning to fight on the side of Ukraine.

Russia has reported almost 200 acts of sabotage on its rail network since it sent troops into Ukraine two years ago, blaming most of them on Kyiv and its supporters.

Ukraine denies responsibility for carrying out sabotage or supporting partisan groups inside Russia.


AFP


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