Seven defendants in the New Greatness case were found guilty of organizing an extremist community. The Lublin court sentenced four accused to suspended sentences: Dmitry Poletaev (six years), Maxim Roshchin (six and a half years), Maria Dubovik (six years) and Anna Pavlikova (four years).

In addition, Poletaev and Pavlikova are prohibited from posting any materials on the Internet for a year and five years, respectively.

All those sentenced to probation were released in the courtroom. Poletaev was held in a pre-trial detention center until the verdict. Roshchin, Dubovik and Pavlikova were under house arrest. Now they will have to regularly register with the FSIN and notify about trips out of town.

Three of the accused received real terms of imprisonment. Ruslan Kostylenkov, whom the investigation considers the organizer of the community, was sentenced by the court to seven years of general regime with a five-year ban on using the Internet. The prosecutor's office requested a sentence of seven and a half years in prison for him. Vyacheslav Kryukov received six years of imprisonment in a general regime colony, Pyotr Karamzin was sentenced to six and a half years in prison. Until the entry into force of the verdict, they will remain in isolation.

Earlier, RT special correspondent, a member of the Moscow POC, Boris Klin, visited four defendants in the New Greatness case who were held in pre-trial detention center No. 3 in Moscow. Ruslan Kostylenkov, Pyotr Karamzin, Vyacheslav Kryukov and Dmitry Poletaev did not plead guilty, but did not expect an acquittal.

“I hope for the best: what will be given after serving in the pre-trial detention center - a year and 11 months,” Poletaev said.

Ruslan Kostylenkov then suggested that the state prosecutor would demand six years in prison for him. Kryukov suggested the same period. He announced that he would prove his innocence in all courts, including international ones. Pyotr Karamzin intends to take the same actions. At that time, he admitted that the prosecutor could ask for up to 10 years in prison.

Initially, the defendants were accused of parts 1 and 2 of Art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, that is, in the organization and participation of an extremist organization. However, in the end, the court left the charge only of creating a community.

When sentencing, the judge took into account the extenuating circumstances: the absence of a criminal record, positive characteristics, the state of health of Poletaev and Pavlikova, as well as the fact that Anna was a minor at the time of the actions incriminated to her. 

In total, there are ten defendants in the "New Greatness" case. Rustam Rustamov made a deal with the investigation and received a two-year suspended sentence. Pavel Rebrovsky initially did the same, testified against the other members of the community, but at the trial retracted his words. His case has been sent for review. Another defendant, Sergei Gavrilov, escaped from house arrest in October 2019, left Russia and asked for political asylum in Ukraine.

Participants of the "New Greatness" were detained in March 2018. According to the investigation, the main tasks of the community members were "uncontested participation in popular uprisings, revolutionary actions, in a clash with representatives of the current regime in Russia."

Investigators believed that the defendants planned to commit a "constitutional coup followed by the seizure of power," for which, according to the case file, they practiced their skills in attacking police officers, including allegedly going out of town with hunting carbines and Molotov cocktails.

  • AGN "Moscow"
  • © Sofya Sandurskaya

In turn, the participants of the "New Greatness" said that they met on the Internet, and then met in person for several months to discuss politics. According to the defendants, they were offered to create an organization by Ruslan D. - according to the lawyers, he is either a probable informant for the security forces, or a provocateur sent by them.

It was Ruslan D., according to the defense, who wrote the charter of "New Greatness", and also proposed to start financing and purchasing weapons. Thus, according to the lawyers, he provoked the chat participants. Later he gave detailed testimony about the defendants, while he himself remained in the status of a witness. However, as noted in the verdict, the court did not establish provocations of community members by law enforcement officers.

In May 2018, mothers Pavlikova and Dubovik recorded a video message to Russian President Vladimir Putin and asked him to stop prosecuting their daughters.

At the same time, several deputies of the State Duma turned to the Prosecutor General's Office with a request to check the legality of the criminal case against members of the "New Greatness". Presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov called the case "very resonant" and said that the Kremlin was following him.

“In general, we didn't expect gingerbread from the first instance. But the six-year suspended sentences plus the released Poletaev speak of the weakness of the prosecution and the great resource, ”wrote Maxim Pashkov, the lawyer of Maria Dubovik, in his telegram channel. He also noted that the court did not specify the motive of the accused, the verdict did not disclose the issue of provocation by Ruslan D., and also expressed bewilderment about the seven-year term of Kostylenkov “for chatik”.

The defense side intends to appeal the verdict in the Moscow City Court.