Siberian Court Sentences Russian Man to 25 Years in Prison

According to Russian state media, a software engineer from Novosibirsk, a city in Siberia, has been sentenced to 25 years in jail for his involvement in an attempted arson attack on a military recruiting office.

In September 2022, Ilya Baburin was apprehended and charged with terrorism following allegations of setting fire to a music school and planning to burn down a local military recruiting office. An investigation was conducted into his purported affiliation with the Azov Regiment of Ukraine.

Authorities leveled new accusations of treason and terrorism against Baburin several months after he was taken into custody. A  Military Court found him guilty and upped his prison sentence to 25 years.

Baburin faced a request from the prosecution for a sentence of 26 years, which was a record at the time.

In his closing statement, Baburin dismissed the accusations against him as ridiculous and suggested that he should have been charged with hooliganism instead of terrorism and treason. He recited lines from Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata,” a Greek comic about the Peloponnesian War, in Russian.

During his time in pre-trial custody, Baburin alleged that he had been subjected to physical abuse by law enforcement officials. Initially, he consented to a plea agreement but later withdrew his signature and vehemently denied the allegations.

Baburin is 24 years old,

According to a report by Russian rights organization OVD-Info, more than 20,000 people have been detained in Russia since the start of Moscow’s extensive military intervention in Ukraine in February 2022. These individuals were arrested because of their opposition to the war. Close to 900 people are currently dealing with criminal charges.

Baburin had previously expressed his opinion, stating that going into debt to the Motherland would be a terrible decision. Zona Solidarnosti made this statement public.

The court informed Baburin that he had presented a proposal to firebomb the military commissariat in Novosibirsk with intentions of orchestrating a Molotov cocktail attack at the army headquarters. However, an unidentified source alerted Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and foiled his plans.

According to the report, he claimed to have made contact with Azov battalion troops and was following Ukrainian orders.