A 16 year old Russian boy has been sentenced to serve five years in a penal colony. His crime? Plotting to blow up a virtual FSB security service building in the game Minecraft, according to The Guardian. The boy, whose name is Nikita Uvarov, was convicted officially on charges of Training for Terrorist Activities, after a behind-closed-doors hearing.
Uvarov’s ordeal began over a year and a half ago, in the summer of 2020, when he and two friends were caught placing anarchist-messaging leaflets on an FSB building. Authorities seized the boys’ phones, on which were found messages relating to a plan to destroy a virtual FSB building the boys had made in the block-building video game Minecraft.
Uvarov’s friends received suspended sentences in exchange for cooperating with authorities. Uvarov has adamantly maintained that he had no part in any “terrorist” activity, and he has reportedly stated that he will “serve his time with a clear conscious and dignity.”
The FSB is Russia’s federal-level security agency; it’s closest analog in America is the NSA, with the most striking difference being that Russia’s FSB is an arm of Russia’s military. It is essentially a successor to the former Soviet Union’s infamous KGB.
Uvarov’s case is part of a trend of Putin’s Russia dealing harshly with young activists.