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Russia Sentences Ex-Reporter to 22-Year Jail Term Amid Crackdown

  • Prosecutors accused Safronov of passing secrets to NATO states
  • Kremlin pressure on media has increased since Ukraine invasion
Ivan Safronov in court in Moscow on April 4.

Ivan Safronov in court in Moscow on April 4.

Photographer: Kirill Kudrayavstev/AFP/Getty Images

A Moscow court on Monday sentenced a prominent former military-affairs journalist to 22 years in prison on treason charges for allegedly passing state secrets to NATO states, amid an escalating campaign to wipe out independent media. 

The length of the sentence handed to Ivan Safronov, 32, a journalist specializing in the defense industry and space sector, is “unprecedented,” with the harshest prison term for treason until today being 20 years, said his attorney, Yevgeny Smirnov. Lawyers will appeal the sentence, he said.