Russian authorities on Thursday fined journalist Sergei Sokolov, the editor of independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, for discrediting the army after detaining him, his newspaper reported.

Sokolov said he did not agree with the charge against him.

The case stemmed from an article published in Novaya Gazeta in December 2023 entitled “Nobody’s boys” about Russians orphans who signed army contracts to fight in Ukraine, the official Telegram channel for Moscow’s court system said.

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Novaya Gazeta said in an online report that Sokolov’s detention was over coverage of the Russian army in an article, but did not provide more details.

A district court in Moscow subsequently fined Sokolov 30,000 roubles, or $327.88, on Thursday after finding him guilty of discrediting the Russian armed forces, an administrative offence.

A couple walking by Russian flags

A couple walks through central Moscow on a bridge lined with Russian flags on Feb. 20, 2024.  (Vera Savina / AFP) (Photo by VERA SAVINA/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian news agency TASS reported that Sokolov had “posted material on the Novaya Gazeta Telegram channel” which showed “signs of verbally discrediting the actions” of the army.

Novaya Gazeta is known for its investigations which have sometimes taken aim at the Kremlin, government policy and top officials.

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Its former editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov, a Nobel prize winning journalist, stepped aside in September to challenge his designation by authorities as a “foreign agent”, a label Moscow uses for people it deems to be working against Russian state interests.

source

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