IAPL: Russia Charges Ex-Lawyer Novikov for Fighting With Ukraine Army

Russia has charged prominent Russian lawyer Ilya Novikov in absentia for joining the Ukrainian military, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said Monday.

Novikov left Russia after the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine and joined the Ukrainian territorial defense forces, according to the FSB’s statement.

It said that Novikov “underwent military training, participates in combat operations and is engaged in propaganda work.”

The former lawyer was charged with high treason, which is punishable by up to life in prison under changes signed into law by President Vladimir Putin earlier this year.

Novikov reacted to the criminal case against him with an expletive-laden message on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter), telling Russian authorities “Go f*** yourselves.”

The FSB announced the charges 11 months after the Interior Ministry placed Novikov on its wanted list on unspecified accusations.

Russia’s Justice Ministry labeled Novikov a “foreign agent” in November 2022.

The Moscow Bar Association disbarred him this summer for “violating the professional code of ethics.”