Russian journalist Maria Ponomarenko

Russian journalist Maria Ponomarenko

Russian journalist Maria Ponomarenko

For writing on social media about a devastating strike by Russian jets on a theatre in Ukraine, Russian journalist Maria Ponomarenko.

Weeks after the bombing, in April of last year, Ponomarenko.

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When Russian fighter planes struck the theatre, 1,200 civilians were inside looking for refuge. According to an Associated Press investigation, more than 600 people were actually slain, contrary to what Ukrainian officials who estimate 300 deaths. The basement contained many of the bodies.

Russian forces committed a war crime, according to Amnesty International, while the international watchdog OSCE stated.

Within days after the invasion, according to the prosecution, Maria Ponomarenko circulated “knowingly false information” about the Russian armed troops.

Speaking to the court before receiving her punishment, she emphasised that she had done nothing.

Alexei Gorinov, a councilman from Moscow, was sentenced to seven years in prison last summer after being caught on camera speaking out against Russia’s conflict in Ukraine. A UN working panel demanded his release earlier this week after finding that his incarceration was arbitrary.

Some 1,200 civilians were seeking shelter inside the theatre when it was bombed by Russian fighter jets. Ukrainian authorities believe 300 people were killed but an Associated Press investigation said the number was closer to 600. Many of the bodies were found in the basement.

Prosecutors said Maria Ponomarenko had committed a criminal offence brought in within days of the invasion of spreading “knowingly false information” about the Russian armed forces.

Addressing the court ahead of her sentence she stressed that under Russia’s constitution she had done nothing wrong.

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