Three teenagers in Russia have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms for plotting to blow up a Federal Security Service (FSB) building in Minecraft.
As reported by The Moscow Times, Nikita Uvarov, Denis Mikhailenko and Bogdan Andreyev are from Kansk in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia. The trio were 14 when arrested back in June 2020 after it was discovered that they were handing out leaflets with the slogan “FSB is the main terrorist”. The same leaflet offered support for mathematician Ajat Miftakhov, who is serving a six-year prison sentence on a felony charge (and whom Russia considers an anarchist).
The arrests led to a search of each teenager’s phone, which revealed a plot to blow up a virtual FSB building in Minecraft. According to RadioFreeEurope, the trio were charged with developing a game to bomb the FSB building and carrying out terrorist acts as retaliation for the imprisoning of activists that Russian officials labeled as terrorists. Video footage of him throwing Molotov cocktails at a wall was also stored on his phone. Combined, this was enough to bring charges related to terroristic activity against all three suspects.
Amazingly, Mikhailenko and Andreev pleaded guilty to a single charge of “receiving training for the purpose of carrying out terroristic activities.” In return, he received suspended sentences of three and four years. Uvarov decided to plead not guilty, however, and was placed in a pre-trial detention center, where he claims to have been “subjected to mental and physical pressure to admit his guilt.” That alleged coercion did not work, but Uvarov was sentenced to a more harsh five years in a penal colony.
In his concluding statement in court, Uvarov reiterated that he was not guilty and that, “I just want to finish my studies, get an education and move away from here, somewhere I want to be someone from the special services.” Doesn’t bother.” Unfortunately, this no longer looks possible until 2027.
Why creating a game that involves blowing up a virtual building could result in serving time in prison, with human rights defenders claiming it is a tactic only used by Russia’s security services for “young men and women”. To create an atmosphere of fear among women who are critical of the government.”