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  2. Smolensk activist sentenced to 6.5 years apologized to Putin and Kadyrov

Smolensk activist sentenced to 6.5 years apologized to Putin and Kadyrov

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Sergei Komandirov, an activist from Smolensk, who is currently serving a 6.5-year sentence for sharing a staged trial against Russia's top officials, has publicly offered apologies to Putin, Peskov, Sechin, and Kadyrov. The Supreme Court, as a 7x7 journalist reported from the courtroom, upheld the legality of his sentence on May 18.

On May 18, the Supreme Court affirmed Sergei Komandirov's 6.5-year sentence. This was reported by a 7x7 journalist who provided coverage of the courtroom proceedings. During the hearing, the activist expressed his desire to discontinue his involvement in opposition activities and journalism.

Komandirov acknowledged the numerous articles and posts in which he mentioned Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, Igor Sechin, and Ramzan Kadyrov, and expressed his belief that it was necessary to apologize to them. He admitted that he had failed to grasp the gravity of his actions, stating, "I did not realize how serious it all was."

The prolonged sentence took a severe toll on Komandirov's mental well-being, leading to depression, neurosis, and persistent suicidal thoughts. He stated that he would never have published the posts had he been aware of the potential risks.

In court, Komandirov called his 6.5-year sentence not only unjust but also inhumane. The seemingly insurmountable duration of his punishment, with one and a half years already passed and five more to go, weighed heavily on him, exacerbating his mental anguish.

Komandirov's lawyer, Yevgeny Gorbachev, expressed his determination to continue fighting for his client's rights. He raised concerns about the expertise conducted by an individual without specialized education and highlighted previous instances of bias in statements made during Komandirov's prosecution. Gorbachev asserted that these glaring and unquestionably significant violations of the law were overlooked by the appellate court.

Sergei Komandirov, a resident of Smolensk, has been held in custody since July 2022 on charges related to justifying terrorism, inciting hatred or hostility, rehabilitating Nazism, and insulting a government official. These charges stemmed from his repost of a video depicting a staged trial of Vladimir Putin, Igor Sechin, and Dmitry Peskov.

The judges expedited the proceedings, reaching their verdict within an unprecedented four-day period, during which they examined four volumes of the case, setting a record for the swiftness of such legal proceedings in Russia.



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