In 2023, the courts in the Kharkiv region handed down more than ten sentences for Ukrainians who collaborated on social networks with the aggressor — the Russian Federation.
After the start of the full-scale invasion in March 2022, certain changes to the Criminal Code of Ukraine were adopted to establish liability for collaborative activities. In particular, new articles of the criminal code and punishments for justifying Russian aggression have appeared.
Therefore, the investigation collected verdicts regarding specific supporters of the Russian Federation, identified people, and there are also examples of posts for which residents of the Kharkiv region received punishment.
For reposting approving posts on social networks about holding illegal referendums in the temporarily occupied part of the territory of Ukraine, the court imposed a punishment in the form of a ban on holding positions in government and local self-government.
But for those who administer pro-Russian channels in Telegram, fill websites with news for Russian money, the responsibility is more significant.
For example, Andrii Yesikov was sentenced to three years in prison with confiscation of all property. The examination showed that Yesikov, through his channel, spread posts justifying the invasion of the Russian troops into Ukraine. He also posted messages that Ukrainians should be liquidated one by one, because such a nation does not really exist, it was invented, just like the state of Ukraine, which in fact should be called “Southwestern Russia”.
Another example: Denys Kovalenko, a security guard in a veterinary clinic from Krasnograd, had created a website with Russian funds, which was filled with anti-Ukrainian news, and for that he was sentenced to five years in prison.
If a year ago the courts were not very willing to prosecute supporters of Russia in the Kharkiv region, now the sentences are becoming tougher.