Fugitive Russian father convicted of insulting army detained in Belarus - lawyer

  • World
  • Thursday, 30 Mar 2023

FILE PHOTO: Russian citizen Alexei Moskalyov, who is accused of discrediting the country's armed forces in the course of Russia-Ukraine military conflict, attends a court hearing in the town of Yefremov in the Tula region, Russia, March 27, 2023. SOTA/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Alexei Moskalyov, a Russian who has been sentenced to two years in prison for discrediting the army and seen his daughter taken into care, has been detained in Belarus after fleeing house arrest, lawyer Dmitry Zakhvatov told Reuters on Thursday.

Zakhvatov said Moskalyov, 54, had been arrested in Minsk, most likely as a result of turning on his mobile phone and giving away his location.

"Apparently someone made a mistake, maybe it was due to him using a mobile phone," he said. "Most likely it was due to him using a mobile phone improperly."

Moskalyov came to the attention of Russian police last year after his daughter Masha, then 12, drew an anti-war picture at school showing Russia firing missiles at a Ukrainian mother and child.

He was later charged with discrediting Russia's armed forces in connection with separate anti-war comments he was alleged to have made on social media.

The case has resonated widely in Russia and abroad, particularly since Masha, now 13, was separated from her father and placed in a children's home at the start of March.

Moskalyov fled house arrest in the town of Yefremov, south of Moscow, in the early hours of Tuesday. Later the same day, a court sentenced him in absentia to two years in a penal colony.

It was not clear how he had made his way from Yefremov to Minsk, a distance of about 700 km (440 miles), or what further legal consequences he would now face.

(Reporting by Reuters; writing by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Kevin Liffey)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

Canada shared intelligence on murder of Sikh with India weeks ago
Peru pipeline workers unearth ancient children's cemetery
U.S. dollar rises as Feds remain hawkish
Roundup: Forum attendees in Los Angeles see new investment, trade opportunities with China as promising
China-Europe-U.S. cross-cultural degree program launched in Rome
U.S. agricultural futures rise
U.S. stocks close lower
Number of active U.S. drilling rigs down this week
WTI crude futures settle higher
Former Italian president Napolitano dies aged 98

Others Also Read