Teenagers Who Planned To Blow Up Minecraft Building Sentenced To Prison
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Featured Image Credit: Minecraft/Alamy
Three Siberian teenagers have been arrested and sentenced after plotting to blow up a virtual Federal Security Services (FSB) building in the online game Minecraft, among other activites.
Nikita Uvarov, Denis Mikhailenko and Bogdan Andreyev, from Kansk, a town in Siberia’s Krasnoyarsk region, were accused of terrorism following their arrest in June 2020.
The three teenagers had been found to be hanging up political leaflets on the local FSB office that included slogans such as 'The FSB is the main terrorist' and that showed support for anarchist Azat Miftakhov.
They later had their phones searched, at which point videos were found of them making pyrotechnics and allegedly throwing Molotov cocktails at a wall. The FSB also found a plot to blow up a virtual FSB building they had built in Minecraft.
The teens were just 14 at the time of their arrest, and at the sentencing today, February 10, the Eastern Military Court in Krasnoyarsk found them guilty of 'undergoing training for the purpose of carrying out terrorist activities', The Moscow Times reports.
Uvarov was sentenced to five years in a penal colony, while Mikhailenko and Andreyev were handed three and four-year suspended sentences because they cooperated with investigators, according to a statement by rights lawyer Pavel Chikov, cited by RTE.
The latter teens had pleaded guilty to the charges and were later placed under house arrest, but Uvarov denied his guilt and was placed in a pre-trial detention center. According to The Moscow Times, Uvarov claims to have been subjected to mental and physical pressure at the detention center to encourage him to confess his guilt.
While addressing the court today, the teenager said, 'I had a desire to learn something new, I liked to learn something about physics, chemistry, biology, about various famous scientists; I also watched scientific and educational programs.'
He added, 'I am not a terrorist, I am not guilty. I would just like to finish my studies, get an education and go somewhere far away from here, somewhere I don’t irritate anyone from the special services.'
The teenagers have been described by family members, former teachers and lawyers as 'normal' and 'like other kids', with Mikhailenko’s mother saying, 'I always knew where he was, even when they were making these bombs. But it was a small, childish prank, a child's bomb.'
The teens initially faced more severe charges of 'participating in a terrorist organisation', but that charge was dropped due to lack of evidence.
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Topics: News, World News, Russia, Terrorism, Gaming