Russian journalist gets six years for accusing Moscow of Mariupol theatre bombing
A Russian journalist was sentenced to six years in a penal colony on Wednesday (15 February) for accusing the Russian air force of bombing a theatre in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol last April where women and children were sheltering.
“Patriotism is love for the motherland, and love for one’s motherland should not be expressed by encouraging crime,” Ponоmarenko told the court before her sentencing, according to the RusNews outlet where she worked. “Attacking your neighbour is a crime.”
The Donetsk Regional Academic Drama Theatre in Mariupol was destroyed by an air strike on the morning of 16 March 2022. Its deep underground had been used as a haven for civilians during the Russian siege of the city.
Ukrainian officials said at least 300 people had been killed in the theatre.
Under the guise of reconstruction of the theater, Russia who controls the territory has destroyed material evidence of the bombing and its victims.