A resident of Yasnaya Polyana in the Tula region, Roman Altukhov, was detained on suspicion of “discrediting” the Russian army (Part 1 of Article 280.3 of the Criminal Code), according to a message from the telegram channel “Tula. ExtremiZm” associated with the security forces.
The reason for the case was Altukhov’s publication entitled “No to War! Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy” about the writer’s anti-war views. Altukhov’s work, as Sota points out, begins with the following words: “When on September 9, 2022, we began to write this small book, one of the most vile wars of modern times had not yet been crowned with the victory of Ukraine, so long-awaited for all of us, over its eastern neighbor-aggressor. Not only was it expected supporters of worldly “justice”, but also unconditionally religious and progressive people who deny the good of all violence – all over the world!
A video also appeared on the telegram channel in which Altukhov says that he published “materials discrediting and discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.” He apologizes and says he is “ready to be punished.” This statement was probably made under pressure from the security forces.
In the summer of 2022, the Shchekinsky Interdistrict Court of the Tula Region fined Roman Altukhov 30 thousand rubles under the article on “discrediting” the army (part 1 of Article 20.3.3 of the Administrative Code) due to publications on VKontakte. In 2018, he was fined under the article on the placement of Nazi symbols (Part 1 of Article 20.3 of the Administrative Code).
The article of the Code of Administrative Offenses on “discrediting” the Russian army came into force on March 4, 2022. For citizens, the maximum fine under this article is 100 thousand rubles, for officials – 300 thousand rubles, for legal entities – one million rubles. In the event of repeated “discrediting” of the Russian army, security forces can open a criminal case under Article 280.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, if a person was charged under Article 20.3.3 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation once within a year.
Security forces and courts consider “discredited” any action or statement that can in any way be associated with an anti-war position or support for Ukraine. For example, people were prosecuted under this article for retelling a dream about Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, for wearing yellow and blue ribbons on a backpack, for talking about the war in Ukraine in a restaurant, or for listening to songs in Ukrainian.