The Russian Internet is safe from yet another ‘extremist’ out to get Vladimir Putin

Meduza
17:55, 6 june 2018

Vladimir Egorov is the latest Russian activist to feel the sting of the country’s unpredictable “anti-extremism” policing. On Tuesday, a court in Tver slapped him with a two-year suspended sentence and three years of probation, after convicting him of inciting extremism through anti-Putin posts on social media. The court also prohibited Egorov from moderating any websites in the future and placed him on a three-year probation period. Prosecutors say he advocated killing Vladimir Putin.

According to Radio Liberty, Vladimir Egorov shared anti-corruption investigations on a local Vkontakte community page. After publishing a report about a particular embezzlement case, he was reportedly attacked at his home. In the summer of 2017, Egorov moved to Ukraine, but he was later expelled to Belarus, which handed him over to Russia, where he had been added to a federal wanted list.

In recent years, Russian law enforcement agencies have regularly prosecuted Internet users for sharing supposedly “extremist” content, even in cases when there is little reason to believe the speech in question could have incited anyone to anything. Police usually target Vkontakte users.