Teenage heroine or extremist? Russian girl faces prison for anti-war Instagram post
"Her case is not the first, and it certainly won't be the last," Aleksei Kichin, Krywcowa's lawyer, told CNN. The 19-year-old Russian citizen criticized Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year in a social media post, which her friends reported.
Krywcowa: Anti-Putin tattoo and a tracking device
Olesia Krywcowa was arrested late last December. Currently under house arrest, she's prohibited from using the internet and faces serious charges that could lead to up to a 10-year prison sentence.
There is limited freedom of speech in Russia, and any attempt to openly resist the government often ends tragically. Krywcowa, betrayed by her peers, now appears on a list of extremists and terrorists compiled by Russian officials. Her name is listed alongside supporters of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, all because she voiced criticism of Russia's military actions in Ukraine.
The 19-year-old shared a story about the destruction of the Crimean Bridge on her InstaStories in 2022, and criticized Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Instagram. She's also charged with disparaging the Russian military in a student chat, where she critically discussed the war. Krywcowa's mother insists that the government is exploiting her daughter's ordeal.
"We live in the Arkhangelsk region, a vast region that's far removed from the center. There are no protests in Arkhangelsk anymore, so they try to stifle any remaining dissent early on," the mother confessed in an interview with CNN.
According to CNN, the local Communist party leader publicly humiliated the teen. On television, she was referred to as a "fool" who should be sent to the Eastern Donbas frontline "to see the war firsthand."
International recognition: "She's a heroine"
The case of this 19-year-old Russian quickly captured global attention. An influential retired American lecturer and lawyer commented on the matter on Twitter, calling Krywcowa a heroine.
"The real terrorist in this story is named Vladimir Putin," Laurence Tribe emphasizes.