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Siberian journalist Maria Ponomarenko sentenced to six years on ‘disinformation’ charges for posts about Russia’s Mariupol theater strike

Source: RusNews

A Barnaul court has sentenced journalist Maria Ponomarenko to six years in prison on charges of spreading “false information” about the Russian army, according to her employer, the Siberian outlet RusNews. The court also banned Ponomarenko from working as a journalist for five years.

Ponomarenko, a Barnaul native, was arrested in April 2022 after she posted information online about the Russian military’s March airstrike on the Mariupol Drama Theater. In September, she reported that her detainment conditions were damaging her mental health and that she had slit her wrists. In November 2022, she was moved to house arrest, but in early April, she was sent back to remand prison.

In her closing statement at her trial on Tuesday, Ponomarenko said she doesn't consider herself a criminal. “How am I being subjected to military censorship if there’s no war, only a special military operation?” she asked the court.

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