Belarus Sends Anti-War Dad Back to Russia

Alexei Moskalyov fled country after he was convicted of 'discrediting' military
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2023 10:28 AM CDT
Anti-War Russian Dad Extradited From Belarus
Alexei Moskalyov, right, is escorted from a courtroom in Yefremov, Tula region, some 186 miles south of Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 27, 2023.   (AP Photo)

A Russian man who fled the country after he was convicted of "discrediting" the country's military has been extradited from Belarus, a human rights group says. Alexei Moskalyov, 54, was arrested in Minsk last month, two days after he fled house arrest in Yefremov, south of Moscow. Hours after Moskalyov went on the run, he was sentenced to two years in a penal colony for posts he had made on social media criticizing the military and the invasion of Ukraine, the Guardian reports. Russian authorities started investigating the single father last year after his daughter, then 12 years old, refused to take part in a patriotic class at school and drew anti-war pictures, including one showing a rocket being fired at a Ukrainian family.

Rights groups argued that Moskalyov was being punished not for the posts on social media, but for the drawings by his daughter, who was sent to an orphanage last month, Politico reports. The Kremlin children’s rights commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, said last week that the girl was now in the custody of her mother after initially refusing to live with her, per the Guardian. Moskalyov is expected to officially lose custody after another trial. (More Russia stories.)

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