Woman Jailed for Smearing Poop, Chicken Blood on Russian Soldier's Grave

A Russian court sentenced a woman to two years behind bars for smearing blood and excrement on the grave of a Russian soldier who died in Ukraine.

The Court of Sudak in Russian-occupied Crimea handed down the sentence Wednesday to Valeria Goldenberg Mikhailovna, from the village of Solnechnaya Dolina in Crimea.

The court found the 60-year-old guilty of having desecrated the burial place of a serviceman who died in March during the "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Valeria Goldenberg arrest in Crimea
Valeria Goldenberg Mikhailovna, 60, is seen after being arrested for desecrating the grave of a young Russian soldier who died during the Russia-Ukraine war. Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Crimea/Zenger

The court also ordered her to pay a fine of 500,000 rubles ($8,830) to the victim's relatives after they claimed compensation for moral damages at twice the amount.

In 2021, the average annual wage for Russians was approximately 1,240,000 rubles or about $21,880 under the then-current exchange rate.

The court qualified her act as "desecration of burial sites motivated by political hatred." The cemetery where she desecrated the grave is located in her village.

The court ordered psychiatric experts to examine the woman's mental health, with the experts finding she was of sound mind both during the trial and the act itself.

Valentin Isaychev
Valentin Isaychev was born in 2001 and died in March at the age of 21 while fighting for Russia in Ukraine. Zenger

The court said it took into account the defendant's age, financial situation and prior lack of criminal record when determining the sentence.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Crimea had reported before the sentencing that the defendant faced up to five years in prison if found guilty.

The ministry said that her arrest took place after the victim's mother discovered that her son's grave had been desecrated and filed a report with the police.

Following the arrest, the ministry confirmed that the woman admitted to officers to having committed the unlawful act, and she was remanded into pre-trial custody.

The dead soldier whose grave she targeted was named as Valentin Isaychev, who was born in 2001 and died in combat at the age of 21.

He served in the 810th Guards Naval Infantry Brigade.

Local media reported that Mikhailovna, who is retired, was born in Poltava, Ukraine, and had been living in Crimea for the past 17 years.

She said she was wholly against the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24 and had opposed the 2014 annexation of Crimea to Russia.

She has family all over Ukraine and was worried for their safety, and is believed to have committed the act in revenge for the death of a classmate and his family.

Before she was sentenced, she said she committed the act "out of a sense of revenge and compassion for the people of Ukraine."

A local media report attributed the following quote to Mikhailovna: "Since I am against the fact that Russia attacked Ukraine, then around April 4, 2022, when I learned that the servicemen had liberated Bucha, Irpen, Gostomel, Kyiv region, I decided to pour blood over the grave of a Russian serviceman who fought and died on the territory Ukraine. Russian servicemen are killing civilians there."

The blood she poured over the grave, allegedly from a chicken liver, also tainted a portrait of Isaychev and the wreaths laid for him.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.