A Russian court sentenced a woman to two years in jail for smearing excrement and blood on the grave of a Russian soldier who died in Ukraine

Valeria Goldenberg Mikhailovna, from Crimea’s Solnechnaya Dolina village, faced judgement from the Court of Sudak, in the Russia-occupied territory. The 60-year-old was found guilty of desecrating the burial site of the soldier who died in March, in Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, which began with President Vladimir Putin sending troops into the neighbouring country on February 24. 

The woman was ordered to pay a fine of 500,000 rubles ($8,830) to the victim’s relatives and they also claimed compensation, worth twice that much, for moral damages. 

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Her act was considered to be a “desecration of burial sites motivated by political hatred”, as per the court, Zenger News reported. 

The court reportedly ordered psychiatric experts, who examined the woman’s mental health and found her to be of sound mind during the act and the trial. According to the court, factors like the defendant’s age, financial condition, and prior lack of a criminal record were considered before handing out the sentence. 

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Prior to the court’s decision, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Crimea had said that the defendant could face five years of jail time if found guilty. The ministry added that the woman had been arrested after the dead soldier’s mother found the grave defaced and filed a report with the police. Mikhailovna admitted that she was responsible once she was arrested. Then, she was remanded into pre-trial custody. 

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The dead soldier, Valentin Isaychev, was born in 2001 and died at the age of 21 due to combat. He had served in the 810th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade. 

The blood Mikhailovna poured over Isaychev’s grave, allegedly came from chicken liver, and tainted the dead soldier’s portrait, as well as the wreaths placed for him.