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Russian Activist Faces Trial On Separatism Charges


KRANODAR, Russia -- A Russian activist in the southern region of Krasnodar went on trial on September 3 on charges of propagating extremism and separatism via the Internet.

Darya Polyudova was indicted in August 2014, becoming the first person in Russia to be charged under a law criminalizing calls for separatism on the Internet which came into force in May last year.

In a statement posted on the Internet, Polyudova, 26, called for a march to demand the "federalization of Kuban" in response to Moscow's repeated calls to federalize neighboring Ukraine, where fighting between government forces and Russian-backed separatists has killed more than 6,400 people since April 2014.

Kuban is an alternative name for several regions in Russia's North Caucasus, including Krasnodar.

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    RFE/RL's Radio Svoboda is the leading international broadcaster in Russia. As Russia witnesses increasing control of the media by state authorities, Radio Svoboda has become a key forum for those who lack access to other means of free expression.

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