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Olga Avdeyeva convicted in Izhkar (Izhevsk)

The Izhevsk City Court convicted Avdeyeva, a doctor and mother of many children, of discrediting the armed forces of the Russian Federation and fined her 120,000 roubles (about €1200).


Avdeyeva in her last speech at the court hearing on 3 April said that the law under which the sentence of injustice is imposed is inherently criminal. According to her, the law is contrary to the constitutional principles of humanity and justice. She stressed that calling black as white will lead to people losing touch with reality. This will mean disaster, death and chaos in the country, which is where Russia is heading today. This accusation by witnesses who have not themselves held a gun seems ridiculous, she added.

Avdeyeva has been charged for writing ‘FACISTS’ under the symbol Z on the wall of the Udmurt Opera and Ballet Theatre in the summer of 2023. Avdeyeva said her activities had attracted the attention of law enforcement authorities in the past, when she organised a lone anti-war picket in front of the theatre and held a poster with the words ‘Russia creates evil’.

After the start of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Russia adopted amendments to the Criminal and Administrative Codes that allow punishment for statements that differ from the Defence Ministry’s position. The defendants face up to 15 years in prison.

In the 2024 presidential elections, 81.83% of voters in Udmurtia supported Putin, with a turnout of 62.55%.