A popular Russian chef dubbed Russia's Nigella Lawson has been sentenced to nine years for criticising Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Veronika ‘Nika' Belotserkovskaya, 52, received the sentence following new laws recently pushed through which severely punish any criticism of the government.
Nika had spoken out against Mad Vlad's nuclear rhetoric, saying “Most of all, to be honest, I am afraid of the RED BUTTON” in a post on social media.
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Her most stinging jibe was directed at Putin, whom she described as “an absolute and unadulterated evil”.
Belotserkovskaya was in France where she had a property while she was charged so was not physically detained as the sentence was reached today (February 6).
A court in Moscow has already seized Russian homes and land belonging to her family.
Belotserkovskaya was born in the Ukrainian city Odessa, and has also fundraised £270,000 alongside British-based businessman Evgeny Chichvarkinto go towards the Ukrainian army.
Other remarks that landed her in hot water included her saying Putin was sending “boys aged 18-to-20 … into the mincemeat of [his] imperial ambitions”.
The war is “an aggressive WAR against a sovereign state,” she also said.
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The prosecution said her social media posts, which she shared with 1.3 million followers, contained “deliberately false information about the commission by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation of the murders of children, the bombing of the maternity hospital in Mariupol and the killing of civilians in Bucha”.
One post which is thought to have particularly drawn the ire of the Kremlin was her saying: “I do not consider the Ukrainian People my enemy. I consider them brothers and sisters….
“I am absolutely horrified by how many mothers from both sides will not wait for their boys to come home.
“I'm afraid for my children.
“I want them to live in a world without this monstrous hatred, which every day, this unnecessary f***ing war breeds. Which NO ONE wanted!
“My dear Ukrainian brothers and sisters, I embrace you with all my heart.
“Strength and courage to you.”
Belotserkovskaya admitted that her posts meant it was likely she would never again be able to return to Russia.
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