Russian court fines man for hair dyed in colours of Ukrainian flag, Mediazona says

By Thomson Reuters May 20, 2024 | 9:22 AM

LONDON (Reuters) – A Russian man who had his hair dyed in some of the colours of the Ukrainian flag has been fined 50,000 roubles ($553) by a court for “discrediting” the Russian army, independent news outlet Mediazona reported on Monday.

Photographs of Stanislav Netesov posted online show the 25-year-old’s close-cropped hair coloured bright blue, green and yellow. Blue and yellow are the colours of the Ukrainian flag.

More than 20,000 people have been detained for their anti-war stance since the start of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, with over 900 people charged with criminal offences.

Netesov was found guilty of discrediting the armed forces on May 3, an online court notice shows, although it does not specify a fine.

In court, Netesov denied his hair colour was meant as a statement of protest, saying that he does not support either Ukraine or the Russian army, Mediazona reported. He said he has dyed his hair bright colours for years.

Netesov could not be reached for comment.

The case against the Muscovite began in late April, when he was attacked by unknown people while returning home from work late at night.

The assailants stole his mobile phone and knocked out one of his teeth, Netesov told Russian rights group OVD-Info, which assists those targeted for opposing the war.

When he went to the police to file a report, officers noticed his hair and charged him under the “discrediting” statute, Mediazona reported.

“The aforementioned visual propaganda clearly expressed a negative attitude towards the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”, Mediazona cited the police report as saying.

Officers also gave Netesov a summons to report to a military enlistment office. He then revealed to them he was a transgender man, after which they cancelled the summons, Mediazona said.

($1 = 90.3690 roubles)

(Reporting by Lucy Papachristou; editing by Jonathan Oatis)