Ukrainian ‘democracy’: Single mom gets 11-month jail sentence for social media posts

January 11: On December 25, 2015, the Chuguyevsky district court of Ukraine’s Kharkov region condemned a single mother born in 1990, who lives in the village of the same district and works as a cook at a local kindergarten, on charges of separatism, sentencing her to 11 months in the Kharkov prison, despite the presence of a minor child.

The essence of her criminal acts, according to the investigators and court, boiled down to this: “The defendant, using the information at her disposal from a personal page on the Russian social media network ‘VKontakte’ under the name ‘Yulia Smagina’ (https: //, which is available for viewing by an unlimited number of users, selected administrator rights and placed on the so-called ‘wall’ (public bulletin board freely available to the general user) of the group ‘Voice of Kharkov’ postings and announcements in the form of appeals on the subject of creating a ‘Kharkov People’s Republic,’ ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ and ‘Lugansk People’s Republic’ by separating territories of Ukraine without holding a referendum, as well as records and information to promote the ideas of ‘separatism,’ pressure on pro-Ukrainian activists and destruction of state symbols of Ukraine.”

The court sentenced her to a 1 year and 10 months imprisonment, and, having decided that the detention center was twice as bad as the prison, reduced her sentence to 11 months based on time already served, counting the penalty at the rate of 1 day in detention as 2 days in prison.

Against the background of rampant crime across the territory of Ukraine, detention centers are clogged with such separatists of the kindergartens.


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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