A RUSSIAN dad has gone on the run after his daughter’s drawing landed him a prison sentence for slamming Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine.
Masha Moskalyova, 13, penned a picture at school showing Russian missiles hurtling towards a Ukrainian woman and child.
East2WestMasha Moskalyova, 13, draw a picture at school saying ‘no to war’[/caption]
East2WestHer dad has been sentenced to two years in a penal colony[/caption]
The drawing also featured a Ukrainian flag with the words “Glory to Ukraine” and a Russian tricolour with the slogan “No to war“.
Her single dad Alexei Moskalyov, 54, was placed under house arrest earlier this month while Masha was taken to a grim rehabilitation centre which is part of the state orphanage system.
He was sentenced to two years in a harsh penal colony on Tuesday for “discrediting the armed forces” – but has not been seen since Monday.
Moskalyov was not in court and court officials said he had fled fearing a jail sentence.
He is also likely to be deprived of his parental rights – which would mean he never sees Masha again as she could be sent permanently to an orphanage or given to a foster family.
The repressive action against the schoolgirl began when she drew an anti-war picture at school last April.
Pupils had been told by a teacher to do artwork in support of Russia’s troops.
She was reported to police by a teacher, and quizzed by the FSB, Putin’s feared counterintelligence service.
Her father was quizzed and found to have posted his support for Ukraine and caricatures of Vladimir Putin on social media for which he was fined £350.
Legal action against him continued culminating in Tuesday’s sentence.
It is the first time since the Soviet era that a child has been separated from a parent based on political views.
Moskalyov’s lawyer Vladimir Biliyenko added that the defence would appeal against the verdict and Masha would remain in the children’s home for the time being.
The sentencing has provoked an outcry among Russian human rights activists and sparked an online campaign to reunite father and daughter.
Even Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of Wagner Group, Russia’s most powerful mercenary group involved in some of the fiercest fighting in Ukraine, called the verdict “unfair” and asked that it be reviewed.
In a letter to the prosecutor, Prigozhin wrote: “Especially in view of the fact that his daughter Masha will be forced to grow up in an orphanage.”
Police began examining Moskalyov’s social media activity and he was initially fined 35,000 roubles (£370) for comments critical of the Russian army.
In December, investigators opened another case against him on suspicion of discrediting the armed forces, this time based on a social media post in June.
The banned Russian human rights group Memorial said it considered Moskalyov to be a political prisoner.
East2WestMasha’s drawings were shown in court[/caption]
East2WestMoskalyov was not in court and court officials said he had fled fearing a jail sentence[/caption]