A Russian artist who replaced supermarket price tags with messages calling for an end to Moscow’s war in Ukraine was jailed for seven years on Thursday for knowingly spreading false information about the Russian army.
A court in St Petersburg delivered the verdict hours after the artist, 33-year-old Alexandra Skochilenko, had made a final statement to the court, asking the presiding judge to exercise wisdom and compassion and to set her free.
Skochilenko was banned from using the internet for the next three years in addition to the seven-year prison term. A state prosecutor had asked for her to be jailed for eight years.
Her supporters repeatedly chanted “Disgrace, Disgrace!” after the verdict as a smiling Skochilenko made a heart shape with her hands as she stood in the courtroom cage which was ringed by police officers.
The artist, who has already spent over a year-and-a half in prison, has admitted replacing price tags in a supermarket on March 31, 2022, with pieces of paper urging an end to the war and criticizing the authorities.
But she had denied the formal charge of knowingly spreading false information about the army.