Boris Akunin, known by his real name Grigori Chkhartishvili, is facing potential imprisonment of 15 years. In mid-January, he was placed on the Russian Ministry of Justice’s list of “foreign agents” and in December, he was added to the list of “terrorists and extremists.” The writer is charged with “publicly calling for terrorist activities” and “knowingly spreading false information” about the Russian army, according to the Basmanny court in Moscow. The charge of spreading “false information” about the Russian army carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
Hundreds of ordinary Russians have already been convicted under this provision of the Criminal Code for nearly two years. Russian authorities accuse Boris Akunin of “opposing” the military assault in Ukraine. He also authored “History of the Russian State,” a nine-volume compilation that traces the developments of the Russian state until the 1917 revolution. On February 24, 2022, he lamented on Facebook the start of “an absurd war” in Ukraine and subsequently co-founded the project “Nastoyaschaya Rossiya” (“The Real Russia”), supported by several cultural figures in exile and aimed at helping Ukrainian refugees.