When you are in Russia, do not easily challenge the line drawn by the Russian government.
The verdict that made the gaming industry an uproar
Recently, a controversial decision appeared in Russia that made the game industry unbelievable. Three 14-year-olds have been jailed by a court for “training in planning terrorist attacks” for allegedly bombing Russia’s Federal Security Services (FSB).
The problem is that the “building” that the three planned to attack is not a real building at all. The target they are targeting is the FSB building built by the three of them in the video game “Be a God of Creation”, but the judge still refuses to attack the building. On the one hand, the three were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 3 to 5 years.
The FBI is the terrorist! Teenagers stand behind anti-government activists
Back in June 2020, all Russia was concerned about the lawsuit of Azat Miftakhov, a Ph.D. in mathematics at Moscow State University and an anarchist who was accused of fighting against the office of the ruling party United Russia. He was prosecuted for throwing smoke bombs out of the window and was eventually sentenced to six years in prison. He was also allegedly unreasonably detained during the trial.
After learning about Miftakhov’s sentence, the young and bubbly Nikita Uvarov and friends decided to show solidarity with Miftakhov, and sent a large number of posters near the FSB office in Kansk city with the words “Russia. The FBI is the Terrorist” flyer, and was arrested shortly after.
When the Federal Security Agency checked the contact records of the three teenagers, it found that Uvarov had chatted with friends on the Russian social networking site VKontakte about plans to build the FSB building in “Be a God of Creation” and then blow up.
A follow-up investigation also found that Uvarov and his friends had browsed a website on how to make explosives. There is also a video on the mobile phone, which records that they once made simple small bottled petrol bombs and practiced throwing and detonating them in abandoned buildings.
‘This is terrorist training’
The findings led Russian authorities to decide to indict the three, who have appeared in court several times in 2021 for the case.
On the 8th, a military court in Siberia finally found three teenagers guilty of “training with terrorists”. Uvarov was sentenced to five years in prison, while friends Mikhalenko and Andreev face three to four years in prison.
Friend jailed at home, Uvarov pleads not guilty
The Moscow Times reported that Mikhalenko and Andreev both pleaded guilty and will serve their sentences in the form of home confinement, and will also complete their studies online in the future. As for Uvarov, who was imprisoned because he pleaded not guilty, he was unable to return home. He once told the media that he was forced to confess both physically and mentally by the authorities during his imprisonment.
Uvarov: I’m not a terrorist
On the 10th, the court heard the case again. In his final statement, Uvarov said: “I like to absorb new knowledge, like physics, chemistry, biology, and famous scientists. I often watch science and education programs.”
“I’m not a terrorist, I’m not guilty. I just want to finish my studies, get my diploma and fly away to a place where I won’t anger any of the Secret Service personnel.”
Human rights group: Government wants to silence young people
The “Moscow Times” said that in recent years, more and more teenagers have had similar experiences with Uvarov, and have been prosecuted by the authorities on charges of “receiving terrorist training” and “attempting to subvert the regime of the Russian Federation”, and even jailed. Human rights groups have criticized the allegations as false and claim that many were abused in custody.
Human rights groups argue that Russian authorities are trying to limit the speech of young Russian men and women in this way, making them afraid to criticize the government or make any remarks that could endanger social order.
The last classic case: Church playing Pokémon
In August 2016, young Russian blogger Ruslan Sokolovsky was arrested for uploading a video of playing Pokémon in the famous “Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood” and was arrested in court Sentenced to six years for “inciting religious hatred”.