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Former pro-Russian lawmaker sentenced in absentia to 14 years on treason charges

by Nate Ostiller November 13, 2023 2:42 PM 2 min read
Then MP Illia Kyva (center) speaks at a rally in Kyiv on March 2, 2021. (Aleksandr Gusev/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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The Lychakivskyi District Court in Lviv sentenced Illia Kyva, a pro-Russian former MP, to 14 years in prison in absentia on treason and other related charges, the court reported on Nov. 13.

Kyva was tried in absentia because he fled Ukraine, the court said, and is hiding in Russia. As part of his sentence, Kyva's property was also ordered to be confiscated. The decision can still be appealed within 30 days.

Ukraine's State Bureau of Investigation said on Aug. 18 that Kyva "created an image of the current Ukrainian government as an enemy for the public."

"He actively stirred up anti-government sentiment in Ukrainian society and justified Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine. Kyva glorified and justified any Russian military actions and 'incited' the Ukrainian audience against patriotic compatriots, and the Russian audience against Ukrainians."

The charges against Kyva were announced in March 2022, shortly after the beginning of the full-scale invasion.

In April 2022, Kyva wrote a post on Telegram saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin should use a "pre-emptive strike" on Ukraine, which was seen by some as a tacit encouragement to use nuclear weapons or other means of mass destruction.

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