A popular Ukrainian singer and influencer who faced up to eight years in prison for revealing sensitive information about Ukraine’s air defence apparatus has been given two months of house arrest.
Inna Voronova, who has over 122,000 followers on Instagram, filmed the Ukrainian air defence forces during an air raid and posted the images on Instagram on 16th May.
The two-month house arrest sentence was handed down to Inna Voronova and three other influencers by a court in Kyiv today, on Friday, 2nd June.
The Kyiv Prosecutor’s Office said today: “Precautionary measures have been chosen for influencers
“At the request of the Kyiv City Prosecutor’s Office, four people suspected of spreading information on the Internet about the work of air defence and the consequences of hitting air targets have been given preventive measures in the form of round-the-clock house arrest.
“According to court rulings, the suspects are prohibited from leaving their place of residence until 31st July 2023.
“As reported, during the mass missile attack of the Russian Federation on 16th May, the suspects distributed a video of the air defence of Ukraine on the territory of Kyiv. They posted the filmed materials on social networks.
“The criminal proceedings were investigated under Part 2 of Art. 114-2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
“The sanction of the article provides from five to eight years of imprisonment.
“The prosecutor’s office calls on citizens to take responsibility for the bans on shooting and publishing videos of the air defence of Ukraine and the consequences of hitting air targets, as the enemy can track such messages and adjust strikes.”
Newsflash also obtained a statement from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), which had said on Wednesday, 31st May: “The SBU reported the suspicion of four influences who “affected” the work of air defence during the Russian strike on Kyiv on 16th May.
“The security service gathered evidence and obtained findings that confirmed the illegal activities of four residents of the capital who spread information about the work of Ukrainian air defence during the mass attack of the Russian Federation on Kyiv on 16th May.
“One of them – a 32-year-old Kyiv woman – posted forbidden content on her social networks and sent it to the administrator of a popular Telegram channel.
“And within a few hours, her video recording was shared on pro-Russian channels.
“Another – a 36-year-old woman from Kyiv – published a video of the work of air defence and the results of the impact of enemy targets on her own Instagram account.
“The third influencer also shared her vídeo on social networks.
“The fourth suspect is a native of the Sumy region, who lives in Kyiv. She recorded the results of shooting down enemy missiles and then sent the files to her acquaintances in different messengers.
“To avoid criminal responsibility, the influencer tried to delete the banned messages.”
The SBU said that all four influencers face up to eight years in prison.
The SBU added: “During the emergency investigation, the mobile phones and computers they used to share their videos were discovered at their residences.
“Regarding two more influencers who on that day also released banned content and who were immediately exposed by the SBU, investigative actions are ongoing.”
The Ukrainian authorities reminded influencers that filming and publishing videos and photographs about the activities of the Ukrainian air defence forces is banned.
The SBU added: “Spreading such images is considered as correcting enemy fire and is a crime punishable by law.
“Pre-trial investigations by the prosecutorial leadership of the Kyiv prosecutor’s office are underway.”
The sentence comes after Anna Alkhim, who has 600,000 Instagram followers, had posted an appeal for aid for the clinic in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro, saying injured Ukrainian troops were there.
The hospital was then hit by a Russian missile strike just hours later and she was criticised for revealing its location.