Russian artist sentenced over antiwar price-tag protest

A court in St. Petersburg has sentenced a Russian artist to seven years in prison for replacing supermarket price tags with messages protesting the invasion of Ukraine.

Alexandra Skochilenko was convicted on Thursday of spreading false information about the military. She was arrested in April last year, one month after a legal revision made the charge punishable with a prison term.

Russian media say one of the replaced price tags accused the military of bombing an arts school in Mariupol in eastern Ukraine where 400 people were taking shelter.

Skochilenko admitted swapping the price tags. She said she was not a terrorist but a pacifist, and that her arrest was unjust.

Her supporters chanted "disgrace" after the court found her guilty.

Russian authorities have been stepping up restrictions on free speech over the war in Ukraine. The United Nations says at least 185 people have been indicted in the crackdown on dissent.