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Russian man stripped of citizenship for disinformation about army — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

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Aleksander Somryakov admitted in court last summer to making a post about the armed forces that he knew to be false

A man convicted last summer of knowingly spreading disinformation about the Russia’s army has had his Russian citizenship rescinded, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday.

This marks the first time Russian nationality has been revoked for spreading libelous statements about the armed forces.

Moldova-born Aleksander Somryakov was sentenced to six years in prison in July 2023 for spreading disinformation about the Russian army’s actions in Ukraine after he published ”a message on his social network page that was unreliable and refuted by official sources of information.”

Since Russia began military action in Ukraine in February 2022, there have been numerous convictions for seeking to undermine the Russian armed forces by accusing them of actions in Ukraine they did not commit. In November the same year, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed canceling citizenship for spreading fake news about the Russian army.

In 2023, the law about the citizenship of the Russian Federation came into effect, allowing courts to withdraw naturalized citizenship from people found guilty of crimes that put personal or public safety at risk. People with Russian nationality at birth are not affected. 

In court, Somryakov partially admitted his guilt when he professed he knew the information was false, but he wanted to ”expose it to public judgment,” in the hopes of gaining followers, likes and comments. He was deprived of his acquired Russian passport, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday, citing a source in the judicial system.

The law also says that knowingly spreading fake information about Russia’s use of its armed forces is punishable by a fine up to five million rubles ($54,000), or – if the act ”has led to severe consequences” – punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

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