Father of Russian girl who drew anti-war cartoons in Ukraine arrested in Belarus

File – Ukrainian soldiers in a file image during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. – CELESTINO ARCE / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

Alexei Moskaliov, a Russian citizen who was sentenced on Tuesday to two years in prison in connection with a series of drawings made by his daughter against the war in Ukraine, was arrested Thursday in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, after escaping house arrest imposed against him.

His lawyer, Dimitri Zakhvatov, said that the arrest took place in an apartment in Minsk because the man had a cell phone that would have allowed him to be located, although he did not give further details, according to information from the Meduza news portal.

The man had been wanted for two days and had been convicted of »discrediting» the Russian Armed Forces in a series of publications on social networks. According to Zakhvatov, Russian authorities had charged him after »months of harassment that began when his daughter Masha, now thirteen, presented a series of anti-war drawings in class». On March 1, the girl was taken into custody.

The minor, who is now in foster care, penned a letter on Wednesday in which she tries to encourage her father: »We will win, victory will be ours.» The case has attracted international attention after it emerged that in April 2022 the girl drew anti-war pictures in Ukraine when teachers asked her to paint some kind of tribute to the Russian Armed Forces.