Ministry of Internal Affairs put blogger Veronika Belotserkovskaya on the wanted list

The letter received by RTVI in response to a request through the system on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs contains a photograph of Belotserkovskaya, data on the date and place of birth. The column “Special signs” is empty. In the field “Basis for the search” it is indicated – “Wanted under the article of the Criminal Code” without mentioning the number of the article.

The telephone number for contacting the initiator of the search in applications that analyze contact lists on smartphones is designated as the duty unit of the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department (MUR).

Belotserkovsky became one of the first defendants under a new criminal article on the dissemination of false information about the actions of the Russian army. The case against her was initiated by the Investigative Committee of Russia on March 16 under paragraph “e” of Part 2 of Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.

“According to the investigation, in March 2022, Veronika Belotserkovskaya published a number of posts on her public page on the social network Instagram*. Under the guise of reliable reports, they contained deliberately false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to destroy cities and the civilian population of Ukraine, including children, in the course of a special military operation on the territory of this state. Thus, with her publications, she discredited the state authorities and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, ”the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

According to the UK, Belotserkovskaya is located abroad. “In this regard, the issue of declaring her on the international wanted list is being decided,” the ministry said in a statement.

Also wanted since May 4 located journalist Alexander Nevzorov**, against whom the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case on March 22 for spreading fake news about the Russian army.

Nevzorov** later noted that he was abroad. His wife Lidia Nevzorova informedthat her journalist is in Israel but has no plans to emigrate. On May 6, the Basmanny Court of Moscow arrested him in absentia.

Law on punishment for fakes about Russian troops

Russian President Vladimir Putin March 4 signed a law that amends the Russian Criminal Code to punish dissemination of false information about the actions of the Russian military, discrediting the Russian Armed Forces, and calls for anti-Russian sanctions.

According to the new law, a new article 207.3 “On the public dissemination of knowingly false information about the use of the Russian Armed Forces in order to protect the interests of the country and its citizens” is introduced into the Criminal Code.

The maximum punishment under this article is imprisonment for a period of 10 to 15 years (in the event of serious consequences). Also, the court will be able to impose a fine from 700 thousand to 1.5 million rubles, corrective labor for up to a year, forced labor for up to 3 years, or imprisonment for the same period.

In addition, Article 280.3 “Public actions aimed at discrediting the use of the RF Armed Forces in order to protect the interests of the Russian Federation and its citizens, maintain international peace and security” and Article 284.2 “Calls for the introduction of restrictive measures against the Russian Federation, citizens of the Russian Federation or Russian legal entities. It is proposed to apply criminal punishment under these articles if a citizen has already been brought to administrative responsibility for a similar act.

* owned by Meta, recognized as extremist and banned in Russia

** recognized in Russia as a foreign media agent

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