OMSK, Russia — A municipal lawmaker in the Siberian city of Omsk has been detained over his recent online posts and articles about Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Dmitry Petrenko’s associates and human rights activists told RFE/RL on March 29 that the city councilor may be charged with the distribution of “false” information about the use of Russia’s armed forces.
Officials of the Investigative Committee of the Omsk region told that Petrenko is in their custody, adding that he had yet to be charged.
According to a new law adopted earlier this month, a person convicted of such a crime faces up to 15 years in prison.
The new law, and other measures passed and enacted since the invasion began on February 24, have criminalized distributing allegedly “false information” about the military, diplomatic missions, and state bodies. The new legislation also limited coverage of what the Kremlin calls a “special military operation” to officially sourced information.
Several broadcasters, both local and international, have suspended operations in Russia due to the restrictions and potential penalties.