Man in jail
Man in jail Shutterstock

Russian politician Leonid Gozman was sentenced on Tuesday to 15 days in prison for comparing Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s regime to Nazi Germany.

The 75-year-old politician, who is an opposition figure against President Putin, made the comparison in a 2020 Facebook post, in which he mocked legislation that banned comparing the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany: “it’s wrong to put an equal mark between them — Hitler was an absolute evil and Stalin even worse,” wrote Gozman.

The Tverskoy District Court in Moscow ruled that the politician's post violated the law.

Earlier this year Gozman, who holds Israeli citizenship, was arrested by the Russian police after he did not report to the country's authorities that he had received an Israeli passport. Gozman had informed Russian authorities of his dual citizenship, but the Interior Ministry claims that he did not do so within the timeframe required by the law. If Guzman is convicted in court, his punishment may be a fine or community service.

Officials in Russia estimate that the reason for the arrest is not related to receiving the passport, since Gozman was issued the passport several years ago and immediately reported it to the authorities. According to the sources, the arrest was made against the background of Gozman's views against Putin and the war in Ukraine.