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Russian court orders interior ministry to pay compensation to opposition politician

Judge's gavel. (Staff Sgt. Nicholas Rau/U.S. Air Force)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A court in Russia’s northwestern city of Novgorod on February 28 ordered the Interior Ministry to pay 20,000 rubles ($265) to Viktor Shalyakin, the chairman of the opposition Yabloko party’s local branch, for wrongfully fining him in May 2022 for “discrediting Russia’s armed forces” during the ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Shalyakin’s case stemmed from his posting on social media a video about the Soviet-Afghan war and a crisis in Georgia. The court’s decision was later cancelled after linguists concluded that Shalyakin’s post was not related to the ongoing war in Ukraine, after which Shalyakin sued the ministry.