World

A Russian court has jailed the founder of an opposition Telegram channel, accusing him of spreading misinformation about the country’s armed forces.

Dmitry Ivanov will spend more than eight years in a colony.

Last year, the Kremlin passed a law making it illegal to publish false information about its war in Ukraine.

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Mr Ivanov, a former student from the University of Moscow, will also be unable to have any presence on the internet for four years after his release.

He had reportedly spoken out about attacks by the Russian military at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, as well as the killing of civilians in Bucha, using a Telegram channel for students at his university.

Amnesty International reported he had also posted a video message from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and called for protests in Russia.

He has also referred to the military action in Ukraine as a “war”, rather than the Kremlin’s preferred term of “special military operation”.

Images and videos on Telegram show Mr Ivanov shrugging his shoulders as the sentence is read out, as well as smiling and laughing.

He had maintained his innocence and stood by his original comments.

“Discrediting” the army publicly in Russia can draw a punishment of up to 15 years.

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