Home / Latest News / Entertainment / Twitch Streamer Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison For Criticizing Russian Armed Forces

Twitch Streamer Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison For Criticizing Russian Armed Forces


image ofGaming influencer

Russian Twitch streamer Anna Bazhutova, known online as ‘Yokobovich Twitch,’ has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison for criticizing Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. Bazhutova was arrested in 2023 after streaming eyewitness accounts of alleged massacres by Russian forces in Bucha, Ukraine.

According to reports from AFP and the Moscow Times, Bazhutova was found guilty in June 2024 of “spreading false information” about Russia’s military. The charges stem from a law under Article 207.3 of Russia’s criminal code, which penalizes the public dissemination of knowingly false information about the use of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. The maximum sentence under this law is 15 years, but Bazhutova received a reduced sentence.

Bazhutova’s troubles began when her critical broadcast drew the ire of viewers who reported her to authorities. Russian law enforcement then searched her home, confiscated her electronics, and arrested her. She had been detained since August 2023, awaiting trial.

Her Twitch Russia channel was banned in March 2023 for violating the platform’s terms of service, although it is unclear if the controversial broadcast directly led to the ban. Twitch does not publicly comment on individual bans, and the specifics of her violations remain undisclosed. Before her arrest, Bazhutova had garnered over 9,000 followers and averaged about 50 viewers per stream, according to Twitch Tracker.

This case is not an isolated incident. Russia’s strict laws on information dissemination have previously impacted Twitch. In January 2023, the Russian government fined the platform $57,000 for failing to curb the spread of what it termed “fake information” about its invasion of Ukraine, labeling it an administrative offense.

Bazhutova’s sentencing underscores the tense climate for online content creators in Russia, especially those who publicly challenge or criticize government actions. Her case highlights the broader issues of freedom of speech and the dissemination of information in conflict zones, raising concerns about the repercussions for other content creators in similar situations.

Scroll to Top