Russia calls young siblings as witnesses against mother accused of discrediting army

A 9-year-old girl and her 10-year-old brother have been called as witnesses in a criminal case against their mother after she was accused of repeatedly “discrediting” the Russian army.

Lidia Prudovskaya and her two children were summoned by investigators in the northern Russian region of Arkhangelsk on Friday to give testimony in the case, Russian news outlet Sota reported.

Prudovskaya previously faced administrative charges on similar allegations after sharing anti-war posts on Russian social media platform VKontakte in September 2022.

Discrediting the Russian military is a criminal offense under a law adopted after Russia sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022. The law is regularly used against Kremlin critics.

In April, Russian authorities petitioned to restrict the parental rights of a single father convicted of discrediting the army following an anti-war sketch drawn by his daughter at school.

Alexei Moskalyov, 54, was sentenced to two years in prison for social media comments he had made criticizing Moscow’s war in Ukraine, while his daughter Maria was placed in an orphanage.

The 13-year-old was later moved to live with her mother.

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