A woman was convicted in a Russian court on Thursday of desecrating the grave of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s parents with a derogatory note.
Irina Tsybaneva, a 60-year-old pensioner from St. Petersburg, was found guilty and given a two-year suspended prison sentence for leaving the letter on the graves of Putin’s parents, Vladimir Spiridonovich Putin and Maria Ivanovna Shelomova.
The note Tsybaneva placed on the guarded grave on the eve of Putin’s birthday in October read: “Parents of a maniac, take him to your home. He causes so much pain and trouble. The whole world prays for his death. Death to Putin.” You created a freak and a murderer.”
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Although Tsybaneva pleaded partially guilty by admitting that she left the note, she claimed that her actions were not motivated by political hatred but rather sadness after watching news reports about Russia’s war with Ukraine, Novaya Gazeta Europe reported.
“After seeing the news, I got scared, I felt very bad,” Tsybaneva told the court. “The fear was so strong that I couldn’t handle it, and that’s possibly my fault. I barely remember writing this. [the note]I have no recollection of the text itself.”
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“I realize that I succumbed to my emotions and committed an irrational act. I regret that my actions may offend or affect anyone.”
Tsybaneva also said she wasn’t sure if the note would be seen or drawn attention because it was “rolled up in a small tube” and placed away from the tomb, she said.
The Russian court was seeking a three-year prison sentence for Tsybaneva.
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Putin’s war with Ukraine recently entered its 15th month with no end in sight, as the two countries continue to fight over territory along the 600-mile frontline.