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Russian citizen fined for Instagram post of his dream about Zelenskyy

Monday, 12 December 2022, 13:33
Russian citizen fined for Instagram post of his dream about Zelenskyy

The court of the Russian city of Chita fined 26-year-old Ivan Losev for RUR30,000 [US$477] under an administrative article on "discrediting" the Russian army for posting a dream about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Instagram.

Source: Radio Liberty project Sibir.Realii

Details: After Russian President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilisation on 21 September, Ivan Losev, an owner of a sauna in Chita had a dream. He retold the content of the dream on his Instagram page, having no clue that his page was monitored by the Federal Security Service of Russia.

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Quote: "Today I had a dream that I was enlisted and brought to some training camp, and at that moment the Armed Forces of Ukraine headed by Zelenskyy burst in, everyone was detained, and they were going to shoot us, and at that moment Zelenskyy passed by me and said: "Oh, I saw your stories on Instagram. Glory to Ukraine!" I answered: "Glory to the Heroes!" Zelenskyy happily patted me on the shoulder and said: "OK, let him go, and shoot all the others".

And so, we are standing with him, looking at all this, and I ask him: "May I take a selfie with you for Instagram?" Zelenskyy answers: "Help yourself," the post in the social media reads.

Details: Losev told reporters that he followed Zelenskyy on Instagram and watched his address to the people every night. "I even began to understand the Ukrainian language well thanks to him," he added.

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In September, a junior FSB operative Danilov from the small town of Zabaikalsk [Far East of Russia – ed.], located 400 km from Chita, compiled a document, in which he recounted a number of Losev's posts on Instagram.

Among several Losev’s posts recorded by the FSB officer there was a retelling of the author's dream where Volodymyr Zelenskyy featured.

In October, the FSB surveillance materials were transferred to Chita, to officers of the Transbaikal Centre for Countering Extremism (Centre E), who saw signs of "discrediting" the Russian army (Article 20.3.3 of the Administrative Code of Russia) in that story. On 1 November, the case materials reached the table of the head of the regional police department.

Losev's administrative case of "discrediting" was brought to the Central District Court of Chita on 8 December, and the next day, Judge Daniil Shestakov found the Chita resident guilty.

Even before the trial, when Losev was summoned to the police department, he had been threatened with a criminal case in case of repeated "discrediting" of the army, and had been warned that the amount of administrative fine may increase for his disputes with the judge.

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