Criminal Cases Initiated on Public Dissemination of Deliberately False Information about Actions of Armed Forces of Russian Federation

The Main Investigative Department of the IC of Russia initiated a criminal case against Veronika Belotserkovskaya. In her actions, there are signs of a possible crime under Paragraph D of Part 2 of Article 207.3 of the Criminal Code (public dissemination of deliberately false information about the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation based on political hatred or animosity under the guise of reliable reports).

According to the investigators, in March 2022, Veronika Belotserkovskaya published a number of posts on her public page on the social network Instagram. Under the guise of reliable reports, they contained deliberately false information about using the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation to destroy cities and the civilian population of Ukraine, including children, during a special military operation on the territory of the abovementioned state.

Thus, with her publications, she discredited the state authorities and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. According to available information, Belotserkovskaya stays outside the Russian Federation, so the issue of including her in the international wanted list is being resolved.

The article of the Criminal Code, which establishes responsibility for public dissemination of false information about the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, is new in Russian legislation. It was put into force by the Federal Law of March 4, 2022, and its sanction provides for punishment in the form of imprisonment for up to 15 years. During this time, law enforcement practice has already appeared in constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

In particular, in Tomsk Oblast, based on the materials from the regional department of FSB of Russia, criminal cases were initiated against a resident of the closed city of Seversk and in relation to a Tomsk resident. According to the investigators, the suspects posted in one of the social networks and in messengers deliberately false information about the losses of Russian servicemen, about their actions in Ukraine during the special military operation and abouts its results under the guise of reliable reports. They allegedly received this information from eyewitnesses from places where the events occurred. At the investigators' request, the court chose a restriction measure against the suspects in the form of a ban on certain actions.

Currently, investigative actions are being carried out in order to collect and consolidate the evidence within the criminal case. The suspects' living quarters have been searched, witnesses are being interrogated, and other investigative actions are underway.

16 March 2022 18:26

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