(Moscow) A Russian communist elected official Mikhail Abdalkine, sentenced in Russia to a fine for having listened to a speech by President Vladimir Putin, pasta hanging from his ears, must be tried again this month on appeal.
The Russian expression “hanging pasta over the ears” means “telling salads”. However, the deputy published a video on February 21 in which he watched and listened, pasta to the ears, to Putin’s speech.
Sentenced in March to a fine of 150,000 rubles (nearly 2,500 Canadian dollars) for “discrediting” the army and the authorities, the deputy of the assembly of the Samara region (Volga), announced on Wednesday on the networks social media that his appeal will be heard on April 27.
He denounced his conviction as “unlawful and politically motivated”.
The chosen one had himself published the video for which he was sentenced. In it he nods very seriously, pasta dangling from his ears, as Mr. Putin recalls “centuries of colonialism, dictate and hegemony” of NATO and the United States, a rhetoric regularly used in particular to justify its assault on Ukraine.
The deputy posted his video on YouTube, Facebook and VKontakte, with a comment: “I fully support, I fully agree. Great speech.”
The video provoked the ire of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, whose deputy Alexander Khinchtein called on the usually very docile Russian Communist Party to “put the rebel elected in his place”. But the communist colleagues defended their comrade.
“Instead of examining the files of killers, swindlers and those who really steal the national heritage, they (the judges) decided to punish with the ruble a man who has a different point of view from that of the regime in power” , condemned a deputy of the Duma (lower house of the Russian Parliament), the communist Denis Parfionov, in an interview with the YouTube channel Svobodnaïa Pressa.
Mr. Abdalkine crowned his profile in VKontakte with a quote from writer Bernard Shaw: “My way of joking is telling the truth. It’s the funniest joke in the world.”
The article of law on the basis of which he was condemned punishes by a fine the act of discrediting the Russian authorities or the army, a text introduced shortly after the start of the Russian assault on Ukraine. In case of recidivism, he would risk prison.
Many opponents and ordinary citizens have already served long prison sentences for criticizing the offensive against Ukraine.