A Russian court in the annexed peninsula of Crimea sentenced a man to 12 years in prison for filming Russian military sites to help Ukraine's armed forces, Russian news agencies reported Thursday.

Since sending troops into Ukraine, Moscow has targeted hundreds of its own citizens that it says have aided or supported Kyiv throughout the two-year conflict.

Crimea's supreme court said it had found a man born in 1991, a resident of the Saky district, "guilty of high treason," Russian state news agencies reported, citing the court's press service.

Prosecutors said the man had "made videos of the process of work of an air defence system and commented on its location with the goal of assisting Ukraine's armed forces," the RIA Novosti news agency reported.


They say he then sent the footage to a Ukrainian chatbot set up to collect information on Russian military targets.

Russia opened a record number of treason cases in 2023, independent rights groups say, after tightening laws and increasing punishments amid its offensive on Ukraine.

Ukraine has heavily targeted Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Kyiv in 2014, launching multiple missile and drone strikes against the peninsula since Russia launched its full-scale military offensive in February 2022.

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