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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Russia. Alexei Moskalov, father of the girl who drew the anti-war picture, sentenced. 13-year-old Masha wrote him a letter

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I am proud of my wise and steadfast father, 13-year-old Russian Masha wrote in a letter to him. Alexei Moskalov was sentenced to two years in a penal colony for “discrediting the army”. Earlier, a man had been stripped of custody of a girl because she had drawn an anti-war picture at school.

The content of the letter was published on Wednesday by the Russian editorial office of the BBC. As reported, Alexei Moskalov asked his lawyer to hand over the letter to the media. “Hi dad. Please don’t get sick and don’t get upset. I’m fine. I love you very much. Know that you’re not to blame for anything, I’m always supporting you and (I believe) that you’re doing the right thing. (.. .) Thank you for everything you do for me,” Masha wrote in the letter.

“Daddy, one lady wrote to me that you have to believe, hope and love, because only the one who can do it wins. (…) Believe, hope and love,” she added. She also wrote: “Please, just don’t give up.”

“One day we will sit at the table and remember all this. (…) When we finally meet, I will give you a big present. (…) I will give you, the bravest man in the world, a pendant with a peace symbol, an anti-war symbol. You are my hero” – Alexei Moskalov’s daughter concluded, also writing that she was proud of her wise and steadfast father.

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Alexei MoskalovAssociated Press/East News

The Russian was sentenced to prison by a court in the Tula region in the western part of the country. The man was not present at the sentencing because he had escaped from house arrest where he was under court order.

It is not known where he is now.

The sentence was based on the article of the Criminal Code on “discrediting the army”, introduced in Russia after starting her aggression on Ukraine.

Intervention by Yevgeny Prigozhin

As Reuters wrote on Wednesday, Yevgeny Prigozhin, a pro-Kremlin businessman and head of the Russian mercenary Wagner Group, which is involved in Russia’s armed invasion of Ukraine, called the verdict in the Moskalov case “unfair, especially since his daughter Masha will have to grow up in an orphanage.”

Prigozhin asked the prosecutor to look into the verdict and to allow lawyers associated with the Wagner Group to cooperate with the defense of Moskalov.

Moskalov’s lawyer, Vladimir Bilenko, told Reuters that he supports both requests, even if he is not sure about Prigozhin’s motives. “I am ready to accept any help that will help my client,” he said.

13-year-old Masha drew an anti-war drawing

In early March, Moskalov’s daughter was placed in a care center for drawing an anti-war picture at school, and her single father was placed under house arrest. The basis for this were the pacifist comments posted by the man on social media.

One of the drawings of 13-year-old MashaReuters/Sota.vision

Masha’s drawing from April 2022 showed a woman with a Ukrainian flag shielding a child from bullets. There were also inscriptions “No to war” and “Glory to Ukraine”. The next day, the police came for Alexei Moskalov and his daughter. The man managed to write in a comment on the social network: “Russian army. Rapists are next to us.” Their home was then searched.

Main photo source: Associated Press/East News

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