Renowned Writer Dmitry Glukhovsky Sentenced to Eight Years in Absentia Over Alleged Dissemination of Lies about Russian Military

Moscow, Russia – August 7, 2023

Renowned writer Dmitry Glukhovsky has been sentenced to eight years in prison in absentia by a court in Moscow, as reported by Russian media. The charges against him include “spreading lies” about the Russian military. Glukhovsky, well-known for his celebrated novels “Metro 2033” and “Metro 2034,” is a familiar figure among Czech and Slovak readers.

The prosecution alleges that Glukhovsky disseminated texts and videos on social media platforms containing “artificially created” evidence of crimes committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine. The writer currently resides in exile, and the prosecutor’s office had initially sought a nine-year sentence for him.

This case has brought attention to an article in Russian criminal law related to discrediting the Russian military, introduced after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The article imposes severe penalties, including up to 15 years in prison, for spreading “false news” about the Russian army. Critics argue that such provisions are designed to suppress dissent regarding Russia’s involvement in the conflict with Ukraine that began in the past year.

Despite being outside of Russia for over a year, Glukhovsky has been targeted by authorities. The Interior Ministry has launched a manhunt for him, and the Justice Ministry labeled him a “foreign agent” due to his association with foreign-backed entities. His books, along with the works of other writers who have protested against the war, have been banned from bookstores, and libraries have withdrawn them from circulation, according to Meduza, a news server based in Latvian exile.

In response to Russia’s incursion into Ukraine, Glukhovsky has expressed his views on social media, critiquing the propaganda media and its impact on the perception of the Russian military. He highlighted the identifying marks used by Russian troops operating in Ukraine, specifically the letters Z and V, painted on military equipment.

Glukhovsky’s literary contributions go beyond his popular sci-fi trilogy. During the World Book Fair in Prague in May 2016, where he presented his book “Metro 2035,” he delved into its metaphorical aspects, portraying life in Russia amidst the ruins of the Soviet Union. His candid perspective on the conditions in Russia, describing it as a “country of thieves” with the state intertwined with crime, was coupled with a prediction that Vladimir Putin would remain in power until his natural death.

As the sentencing of Dmitry Glukhovsky stirs concerns about freedom of expression and the suppression of dissent in Russia, the international literary community watches closely, advocating for the protection of artistic expression and human rights.

Article by Prague Forum

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