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Russian journalist Maria Ponomarenko sentenced to six years in prison for post about Mariupol

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A court in Barnaul has sentenced RusNews journalist Maria Ponomarenko to six years in prison. According to the publication, she was also banned from working as a journalist for five years.

Ponomarenko was found guilty of spreading “fakes” about the Russian army due to a Telegram post in which she detailed the shelling and destruction of Mariupol’s drama theater. A state prosecutor originally demanded that the journalist be sentenced to nine years in prison.

Ponomarenko was detained on 24 April in St. Petersburg, where she had moved from Barnaul in late March. The woman was then brought to Barnaul, her former place of residence, and put in a pre-trial detention center, and then transferred to a psychiatric hospital. There, according to the journalist, she was drugged with unknown substances.

In November, Ponomarenko was transferred to house arrest and had to live in the same apartment with her ex-husband. In January, she left her home after an argument, and was sent back to a detention center.

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