Moscow jails Russian-Israeli politician for article comparing Stalin to Hitler

A Moscow court has sentenced Leonid Gozman, a liberal Russian politician with Israeli nationality, to 15 days in prison who drew parallels between the regime of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and Nazi Germany.

Gozman, 72, was convicted over a 2020 Facebook post mocking Russian legislation banning comparing the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany.

“It is wrong to put an equal mark between them – Hitler was absolute evil and Stalin even worse,” he wrote at the time.

Gozman, a vocal critic of the Kremlin’s campaign in Ukraine, left Russia early on but returned in June in what he described as a “moral” choice.

Leonid Gozman in Moscow, November 16, 2008. (Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File)

Russia’s Justice Ministry has listed him as a “foreign agent,” a description that carries strong derogatory meaning and implies additional government scrutiny.

He was briefly detained by police in July after the Russian Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant for him while investigating a criminal case against him.

Gozman was charged with violating the law that requires Russian citizens to notify authorities of a foreign citizenship or residence permit. Gozman said he informed authorities of his Israeli citizenship, but they claimed he did not do so within the required time frame.

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