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Russian Who Served Time For Reposting Crimea Article Leaves Russia


Russian opposition blogger Andrey Bubeyev (file photo)

A Russian man who was recently released from prison after serving time for reposting an article advocating the return of Crimea to Ukraine has reportedly left Russia.

Moscow-based activist Anna Borko wrote on Facebook on August 30 that Andrei Bubeyev and his wife left Russia.

Media reports cited another activist, Yekaterina Bashilova, as saying on August 31 that Bubeyev and his wife are currently in Kyiv.

Bubeyev, who is from the northwestern Russian city of Tver, was released from prison on August 23 after serving his full term of two years and three months.

Bubeyev was arrested in 2015 after he reposted several articles criticizing the Russian government.

In August 2015, he was found guilty of inciting hatred via the Internet and illegal possession of ammunition and sentenced to one year in a colony settlement, a penitentiary in which convicts live close to an industrial facility or a farm where they work.

However, days after that sentence was pronounced, Bubeyev was charged with promoting extremism and threatening Russia's territorial integrity.

This time the charges were about Bubeyev's reposting an article by jailed Kremlin critic Boris Stomakhin that had earlier been deemed "extremist" and "threatening to Russia's territorial integrity."

Stomakhin's article argued that the Ukrainian Black Sea region of Crimea had been illegally annexed by Russia and should be returned to Ukraine.

In May 2016, Bubeyev was convicted of the new charges and sentenced to two years and three months in prison.

In March 2016, the Moscow-based human rights group Memorial declared Bubeyev a political prisoner and called for his immediate release.

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