Local resident fined RUB100,000 for Holocaust denial in Ivanovo, Russia

A regular court of appeal in Ivanovo Region confirmed the legality of the fine imposed on a local resident on the accusations of Holocaust denial. 31-year-old Alexei Sychev from the village of Palekh was sentenced to a RUB100,000 fine on the charges of public denial of the facts established by the International Military Tribunal, as well as the approval of the actions of European Axis war criminals, which is qualified as a crime under Article 354.1 Part 1 of the Russian Criminal Code (“Rehabilitation of Nazism”).

The court has found that Sychev distributed “articles, interviews and comments in Vkontakte social network, denying the fact of killing 6 million Jews by the Nazi government and historic facts established by the judgment of the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg in 1946, as well as approving the above-mentioned crimes.” Sychev did not plead guilty so far. 

Article 354.1 was included in the Russian Criminal Code  in May of 2014. The first case under this Article was opened in May 2015 against a 16-year old gay who gave a positive account of the German invasion of Poland on the Internet. The most notable cases under Article 354.1 were opened by Russia’s Investigative Committee (Sledkom) against Volodymyr Viatrovych,  director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance and Visvaldis Lācis, a former member of the Latvian Waffen-SS Legion

Among the latest cases of legal enforcement practice under Article 354.1 in Russia, one can remember conviction of  Konstantin Ishutov, an Internet blogger, as well as the criminal case opened against Nikolay Gorelov, a blogger working for Ekho Moskvy radio station who equalized the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. On April, 2020, part 3 of Article 354.1 was used as a base to launch a criminal inquiry regarding the dismantled Mashall Konev monument in Prague.

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