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Moscow man convicted of spreading ‘disinformation’ in street interview with RFE/RL

Source: Mediazona

A district court in Moscow has sentenced a local man to five years of penal labor for expressing supposed “disinformation” about the Russian military in comments he gave to Radio Liberty journalists in a street interview in July 2022. Thirty-eight-year-old Yuri Kokhovets told the court that he deeply regrets speaking to RFE/RL and said he didn’t know that he was expressing “false information.” Kokhovets told journalists that Russian troops were killing civilians and bombing shopping centers in Ukraine, arguing that these atrocities are what provoke NATO’s hostility and that “there’s one man in Russia” (Vladimir Putin) who can stop this.

Journalists at Mediazona say they contacted Radio Liberty and asked if Kokhovets’s prosecution altered the new outlet’s policy of street interviews and if RFE/RL is doing anything to help the man’s family. Mediazona got no response, but it’s known that Radio Liberty stopped street interviews after its designation in February 2024 as an illegal “undesirable organization.”

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