The father of a a Russian girl sent to an orphanage after drawing an antiwar sketch at school has been extradited from Belarus back to Russia, a human rights group reported Wednesday. He faces two years in prison there.
Alexei Moskalyov fled house arrest just before his sentencing hearing last month in the town of Yefremov, south of Moscow. He was detained in Belarus two days later. According to the Belarusian human rights center Viasna, when visitors tried to find Moskalyov in a Belarussian prison on Wednesday, they were told he had been extradited to Russia.
Moskalyov, 54 was charged over social media posts criticizing the war in Ukraine under a law adopted days after Russian troops invaded in February 2022. He rejected the accusations.
In a case that drew international outrage, the father of 13-year-old Maria Moskalyova was convicted of discrediting the Russian military and handed a two-year prison term, while his daughter was dispatched to an orphanage.
According to his lawyer and supporters, Moskalyov’s troubles began after his daughter drew a picture at Yefremov School No. 9 that depicted missiles flying over a Russian flag at a woman and child. The drawing also featured the words “No to war” and “Glory to Ukraine.” Moskalyov was fined and convicted over his social media posts.
The Kremlin has been cracking down on dissent, targeting anyone who criticizes the war.