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

A Moscow court has handed a 15-day prison sentence to Leonid Gozman, a liberal Russian politician with Israeli citizenship who drew parallels between Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s regime and Nazi Germany.

Gozman, 72, was sentenced over a 2020 Facebook post mocking Russian legislation that banned likening the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany.

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

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

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

The Russian Justice Ministry has listed him as a “foreign agent,” a description that carries a strong pejorative meaning and implies additional government scrutiny.

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

Gozman was accused of breaching the law that requires Russian citizens to notify authorities about a foreign citizenship or a residency permit. Gozman said he notified the authorities about his Israeli citizenship but they claimed that he failed to do so within the required time.

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