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Siberian pianist arrested for “Nazi propaganda”

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The musician publicly performed the Ukrainian national anthem

A Siberian businessman who publicly sang Ukraine’s national anthem has been found guilty of “Nazi propaganda”, a local court said Thursday in the latest example of Russia’s ongoing repression of military dissent, the Moscow Times reported.

A resident of Tyumen, identified as Vladimir Fofanov by the police surveillance website OVD-Info, was filmed performing the anthem on a piano placed on an embankment.

However, the city court accuses Fofanov of shouting slogans at the banned organizations UNA-UNSO and the Right Sector.

Russia has declared Ukraine’s far-right movement UNA-UNSO, part of the ultranationalist Right Sector group, a banned “extremist” organization after Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014.

“In addition, the man posted a video of his ‘concert’ on the Internet,” the court said.

Fofanov’s videos of him playing the anthem, published online this week, do not show him shouting or uttering the slogans he is accused of.

However, the Central District Court of Tyumen sentenced the suspect, whom he identified as Vladimir F., to 14 days in prison on charges of misconduct related to Nazi propaganda.

He added that Fofanov pleaded guilty and vowed not to repeat the crime.

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