Germany Fines Woman For Saying Russia Isn’t ‘Aggressor’ And Invasion Of Ukraine Was ‘Necessary’ by Binitha Jacob

A Ukrainian national living in the western German city of Cologne has been ordered to pay a fine of around $964 (€900) for making comments in support of Russia’s brazen invasion of Ukraine.

Elena Kolbasnikova — a prominent face among people who support Russian President Vladimir Putin in Germany — “posed a threat to public peace” by delivering a speech at a pro-Russian protest, a court in Cologne said Tuesday while issuing the verdict.

During a protest held last year, Kolbasnikova reportedly said the invasion of Ukraine was “necessary” and also told a television channel that “Russia is not an aggressor,” German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

A judge ruled that these comments by the 48-year-old woman were enough evidence to show that she had violated German laws. The woman “endorsed and supported” the Russian war “in a way that was perceptible to others,” the judge said, according to The Telegraph.

Kolbasnikova, nicknamed “Putin‘s fangirl” by German media, was facing a possible prison sentence of up to three years in Germany or a heavy fine. However, the judge only issued the fine after considering the fact that the mother-of-two was unemployed.

The state broadcaster called the fine lenient.

After the sentencing, Kolbasnikova said she was “innocent.”

“I live on and will tell the truth,” the self-proclaimed “peace activist” said outside the district court in Cologne after the trial. “And in that sense, I consider myself innocent.”

Kolbasnikova said she was ready to be punished if it would lead to “the liberation of Ukraine from the Nazis.” The “Nazis” is an apparent reference to the Ukrainian government and is akin to the Kremlin’s narrative about its invasion of Ukraine.

Kolbasnikova had organized a pro-Russia motorcade in May last year.

“Russia is not an aggressor. Russia is helping to end the war in Ukraine,” she told German tabloid Bild at the time.

Kolbasnikova, during Tuesday’s trial, claimed the statements she made were her “own opinion” and is part of her right to freedom of speech.

“Thirty days in prison or I have to pay €30 euros for each day,” Kolbasnikova said after her sentencing. “€900 to the state coffers because of the killing of people in the Donbas since 2014. That’s the truth of the people in Germany.”
Her lawyer and far-right politician, Markus Beisicht, said they would appeal the court ruling.

Start the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *