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A Crimean Was Fined For Forcing ‘Z’ To Be Taken From Tractor

Judge Oleksandr Kuz’min of the “Leninsky District Court” of Crimea fined Mr.Anatoliy Stepchyn, a 61-year-old Crimean, for “discrediting the armed forces of the Russian Federation.”

As stated on the court’s website, the case under RF CoAO Article 20.3.3-1 (Public actions aimed at discrediting the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation) was considered on July 26.

The court’s report disseminated by local media, states that in early July 2022, “the offender, while being in the village of Semisotka at the grain silo, forced the tractor driver to tear off the inscription in the form of the letter “Z” from the windshield of the MTZ-80 tractor.”

The Crimean must pay a fine of RUR30,000.

As informed by the CHRG. RF CoAO Article 20.3.3 (Public actions aimed at discrediting the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation) has been applied in the Russian Federation and on the Russia occupied territories since March 4.

For the period of early March – July 20, 2022, the occupation authorities sent at least 73 administrative proceedings under this article to the “courts” of Crimea for consideration. In 62 of them a punishment judgement was passed. The total amount of fines was about RUR2,000,000.

The most common reasons for persecution were “No War” statements published on a social network or a single-person protest with the same statement on the poster. Denunciation is often the reason for initiating a case.

Persecution of residents of occupied Crimea for their opinions about the war is a violation of freedom of expression, and in the case of a single person protest, it is also a violation of freedom of assembly. Applying the norms of the Russian Code of Administrative Offences to persecute Crimeans violates international humanitarian law. Generally speaking, the persecution for protesting against the war reflects the essence of Russian politics that is so bent on war that even calling for peace constitutes a crime.

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