The Russian student was detained for an Instagram story during the Ukraine War

It's Olesya Krivtsova

Olesya Krivtsova, a university student, has missed numerous classes.

This is as a result of Olesya, 20, being placed under house arrest. On her leg, she has an electronic tag. Police can watch everything she does.

Olesya was detained for posting anti-war messages on social media, according to the charges. One of them dealt with the explosion that occurred on the bridge connecting Russia and the occupied Crimea in last October.

According to Olesya, who spoke to the BBC, "I posted an Instagram story about the bridge, reflecting on how Ukrainians were happy with what had happened.". " .

She had also shared a post about the war from a friend.

The drama then started.

Olesya recalls, "I was on the phone with my mother when I heard the front door opening. Numerous officers arrived. My phone was taken away, and I was yelled at to lay on the ground. ".

Olesya was accused of defending terrorism and defaming the Russian military. She could spend up to 10 years behind bars.

Olesya Krivtsova in court
Only for court appearances is Olesya permitted to leave the house.

Olesya says, "I never thought someone could get such a long prison sentence for posting something online. "I'd heard reports of absurd rulings in Russia, but I hadn't really paid attention and kept speaking out. ".

Olesya, an undergraduate at the Northern Federal University in Arkhangelsk, has now been included on the official list of terrorists and extremists maintained by Russia.

"I thought it was crazy when I realized I'd been put on the same list as school shooters and the Islamic State group," recalls Olesya.

She is not permitted to use the phone or the internet while she is under house arrest.

On Olesya's right leg, a striking tattoo of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the form of a spider with the words "Big Brother is watching you" appears. ".

It seems that in Olesya's case, her classmates were the ones keeping an eye on her rather than Big Brother.

Olesya Krivtsova's tattoo
Big Brother is watching you, according to her anti-Putin tattoo. ".

Olesya explains, "A friend showed me a post about me in a chat about how I was opposed to the'special military operation'. Students of history made up the majority of the chat participants. They were debating whether or not to report me to the police. ".

The BBC has viewed selected portions of the group chat.

Olesya is charged with writing "provocative posts of a defeatist and extremist character" in one comment. This is inappropriate during a war. It needs to be stopped in its tracks.

"Let's try to discredit her first. Let the security services handle it if she doesn't understand it. ".

Another person writes, "A patriot's duty is denunciation.

Later, Olesya recognized the names from the student chat when the list of prosecution witnesses was read aloud in court.

One year has passed since the Kremlin began what it refers to as a "special military operation" in Ukraine, which is another name for an invasion of neighboring Ukraine. President Putin urged the Russian public to distinguish "true patriots from scum and traitors" just weeks after the assault.

Since then, there have been reports of Soviet-style denunciations against pro-war opponents all over Russia. They include employees complaining about coworkers and students spying on teachers.

It is risky to publicly criticize the invasion, including by reposting the criticism of others. The offensive in Ukraine should receive complete and unwavering support, according to Russian authorities. At the very least, you are expected to remain silent if you disagree with it. There are numerous repressive laws for punishing dissent if you don't keep quiet. These laws prohibit "discrediting" the army and disseminating "false information" about it.

A nine-story apartment building in Arkhangelsk bears a massive portrait of a Russian soldier who died in Ukraine and the inscription, "Being a warrior means living forever. " .

The messages are convincingly patriotic. We find little pity for Russians who are being prosecuted for their anti-war remarks on the streets of Arkhangelsk.

Konstantin informs me that "people who discredit our army or spread fakes, they're sick in the head.". They ought to be used as cannon fodder on the battlefield. " .

A patriotic mural in Arkhangelsk
In Russia, propaganda that supports the war is pervasive.

Ekaterina admits that she has a bad attitude toward those who criticize the special operation.

But isn't that harsh? A lengthy prison term for making an online post, I question.

People ought to think for themselves, Ekaterina responds. "They need to obey the law if they live in this country, if they take advantage of everything this country has to offer, and if they consider themselves patriots. ".

Olesya is permitted to leave her apartment later that day. only to show up at a court hearing. The movement restrictions on her are being lifted, in part, thanks to the efforts of her defense attorneys.

On Olesya's T-shirt, the word "School Bus" is displayed next to a picture of a police van. An observation regarding the treatment of young Russians who criticize the government.

The court orders that she remain under house arrest.

Olesya claims that "the state doesn't have the stomach for discussion, for democracy, or for freedom.". "However, they are unable to imprison everyone. They will eventually run out of cells. ".

Liza Shuvalova produced the work.

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