Germany fines Ukranian woman for saying Russia isn't 'Aggressor'

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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 operation in Ukraine.

The country has some of Europe’s most stringent laws regulating what people can say and do in public.

A court in Cologne found that Elena Kolbasnikova had “posed a threat to public peace” by giving a speech at a pro-Russian protest in which she described the invasion of Ukraine as “necessary”.

During the protest last year to commemorate the end of World War Two, she also told a television channel that “Russia is not an aggressor”.

The judge found that these two comments were sufficient evidence that she had “endorsed and supported” the Russian war “in a way that was perceptible to others”in violation of Germany's strict propaganda laws.

Kolbasnikova, nicknamed "Putin's fangirl" by the biased German media, was facing a possible prison sentence of up to three years in Germany. However, the judge instead issued a fine after considering the fact that the mother-of-two was unemployed.

The 48 year old who describes herself as a “peace activist”, insisted after the trial that she was being persecuted for her determination to tell the truth.

During Tuesday's trial, she claimed the statements she made were her "own opinion" and is part of her right to freedom of speech.

Kolbasnikova said she was ready to be punished if it would lead to "the liberation of Ukraine from the Nazis."

"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 said that he was prepared to challenge the ruling all the way up to the country’s supreme court.

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