The Pervomaisky District Court of Kirov found conductor Prokhor Protasov guilty of disseminating deliberately unreliable information about the actions of the Russian armed forces in Ukraine motivated by political hatred. He was sentenced to 5 years in prison, sentenced in absentia. He was also banned from administering websites on the Internet for 3 years.
The day before, the prosecutor asked to sentence him to 9 years in prison and 4 years without the Internet.
In February 2023, the court already found Protasov guilty of publishing materials about the killings of civilians in Bucha, then he was also sentenced to 5 years. However, the court later annulled the verdict due to the inconsistency of the district court's conclusion with the actual circumstances and significant violations of the criminal procedural legislation.
Here is how Protasov's position sounded at previous meetings:
“My opinion was formed by studying sources of information that I trust. I assessed the information that I received from these sources as reliable, since I have been reading these media for a long time, I consider the information posted in them to be true. This information was subsequently confirmed by international organizations such as the UN and the OSCE.
Information about the actions of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine is known to me from a number of my acquaintances who are on the territory of Ukraine. I also trust their words, because I believe that they have no reason to give me false information.
I do not trust the news on the official websites of the President, the Ministry of Defense and RIA Novosti, as well as in the official channels of these bodies and organizations in Telegram, because they:
a) contradict all of the above sources,
b) come from the interested party to the conflict, and therefore cannot be anything other than a weapon in the information war.
In addition, I am bilingual and can judge for myself as to the credibility of how state-run media in Russia translate statements from foreign officials into Russian. Very often they give out a false translation and fabricate facts. Numerous independent sources confirm this.
Protasov is a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, in the past he worked as a conductor at the Vyatka Philharmonic. Author of the anthem of the city of Kirov. In 2018, he entered the master's program at the American Bard College and left for the United States, and after his studies he returned to Russia for a short time. Now Protasov lives in Toronto, Canada and is studying for a doctorate at a local university.