Police in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Sergei Mihailicenko/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A Russian priest spoke out against the war in Ukraine in a March YouTube video.
Ioann Kurmoyarov’s comments led to his arrest in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, Russian media reported.
He was accused of spreading fake news about the Russian military, the reports said.
Russia arrested an Orthodox Church priest who said Russian troops in Ukraine were going to hell, multiple local reports said.
Ioann Kurmoyarov was detained in St. Petersburg on Tuesday for spreading “fake news” about the army, Russian news outlet 78 reported. The independent Russian outlet Mediazona confirmed Kurmoyarov’s arrest, citing the press service of the regional courts.
In March, Kurmoyarov had posted an eight-minute YouTube video entitled: “Who will be in hell and who will be in heaven?” The Russian media outlet Baza reported that this was the reason for the arrest.
In the video, Kurmoyarov initially expressed some pro-Kremlin views, saying he agreed with Russia “defending” Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region — which had for years been occupied by Kremlin-backed separatist forces — but that he thinks it should have done it on a smaller scale.
He then condemned the invasion of Ukraine and said that those who “started the aggression” do not end up in heaven.
“I am going to reiterate: You will not be in heaven. You will end up in hell. And it will be hell that you yourself have chosen,” Kurmoyarov said in the video, apparently addressing Russian troops in the country.
“From now on, to the rest of the world, you are the aggressors who attacked your peaceful neighbor and who is destroying them,” he said. “Your neighbor did not want you there, he should decide their fate independently.”
It’s not clear what punishment Kurmoyarov faces. But the Kremlin passed a law in March, after the invasion, imposing a prison term of up to 15 years for spreading intentionally “fake” news about the Russian military.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, around 15,450 people have been detained in connection with anti-war actions, according to the Russian human rights group OVD-Info.
Several people in Russia have spoken out against the war despite the Kremlin’s crackdown on opposition. In mid-March, an editor at leading Russian state-run broadcaster Channel One stormed her network’s live broadcast with anti-war signs. She was arrested and briefly detained in Russia, and has since left the …read more
Source:: Business Insider