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Russian lawmaker sued over tweet about killing of soldiers in Ukraine

Russian lawmaker sued over tweet about killing of soldiers in Ukraine

On Friday, Russian authorities opened an investigation against the elected opposition politician in Siberia, Khilga Pirogova, accused of “spreading false information” after he criticized the organization of lavish funerals for soldiers killed in Ukraine.

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In a statement, the Russian Investigative Committee, which deals with major criminal cases, said it was being prosecuted for “publicly disseminating false information about the use of armed forces”.

According to the Penal Code article cited, she risks three years in prison. On Thursday, she was briefly detained and interrogated at the Central Police Station in Novosibirsk in Siberia, where she holds the post of deputy municipality.

In contact with Agence France-Presse, the young opposition said that she is four months pregnant. “They need an internal enemy that they can wrestle with easily because they have more difficulty with their external enemy,” she said.

On July 15, the young opponent on Twitter responded to an article published by independent media Medizona evoking a lavish funeral organized for Russian volunteers killed during the conflict in Ukraine.

“These luxurious funerals are being organized for nothing,” she wrote, adding that she wanted to “resuscitate” these dead volunteers, “slap them and return them to their graves.”

In the face of the scandal caused by these statements, published by pro-Kremlin media that called for their punishment, Kelga Pirogova has since deleted this tweet.

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In a Facebook post, she admitted that her reaction was “very emotional”. She says she was shocked that the authorities sought to compensate for the pain of relatives of dead soldiers, who live “in poverty”, with large funerals.

Khilga Pirogova, 33, deputy mayor of Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia. She had campaigned in 2020 with the home team of the main Russian opponent, Alexei Navalny, who is serving a nine-year prison sentence.

Last March, she appeared at a meeting of the Novosibirsk city council in a blue shirt and a wreath of yellow flowers, the colors of Ukraine.

Since the Kremlin’s attack at the end of February, the slightest criticism of the operation can lead to heavy fines or serious legal action. On July 8, the elected official in Moscow, Alexei Gourinov, was sentenced to seven years in prison for denouncing the Russian attack on Ukraine.