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Kazakh Citizen Goes On Trial On Separatism Charge

A Kazakh citizen has been charged with inciting separatism by posting a poll on the Internet on the possibility of the East Kazakhstan region joining Russia.

The Ridder City Court in Kazakhstan's northeast says a local resident, Igor Sychyov, 26, will go on trial on October 22.

Sychyov was arrested earlier this year after he placed the poll on his online "It Was Heard In Ridder" group on the popular Russian VKontakte social network.

Sychyov denies the charge, saying that he did not create the poll but put it on his group's site by negligence.

At least three Kazakh nationals were sentenced this year for inciting separatism and ethnic hatred via the Internet amid an ongoing crisis in Ukraine whereby Russian-backed separatists have seized control of parts of the country's Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Based on reporting by Tengrinews,, and