August 31, 2023

31.08.2023 – Russian Journalist Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Spreading Alleged ‘Fake News

In a recent verdict on 29 August 2023, the local Court in Moscow sentenced Michael Nacke (Майкл Наке), a journalist, and Ruslan Leviev (Руслан Леваев), the founder of the investigative project Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT) (, to 11 years in prison each for disseminating what Russian authorities label as “false information” connected to reporting about actions of the Russian army in Ukraine,

The court found both journalists guilty of “spreading false information about the military” and “fabricating evidence” with an alleged vested interest. Additionally, the court has imposed a five-year ban on their ability to post content online. Both journalists have been declared foreign agents in Russia and are at this moment outside Russia.

The Sout East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) condemns the court decision.

South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is a regional non-governmental, non-profit network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in Southeast, South, East and Central Europe. SEEMO members are in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova (with the territory of Transdnestria), Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Türkiye / Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Austria, Italy, Vatican, and San Marino have a special status in SEEMO. SEEMO has over 3000 individual members, and additional media as corporate members.

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