As President Vladimir Putin’s government intensifies its crackdown on all forms of dissent, many Russians who oppose him have found inspiration in the closing remarks Moscow State University student Olga Misik made last week at her trial.
She said: “You cannot forbid youth, and you will never forbid freedom.”
The student’s defiant speech joins the ranks of the impassioned courtroom addresses of dissidents that have characterized the two decades of Putin’s rule and go back at least as far as the Soviet era.
Misik and two other young defendants are charged with vandalizing government buildings.
Defense attorneys say that the documents provided by prosecutors concerning the alleged damages were falsified.
And in her closing speech, Olga Misik added: “Russia teaches us to be afraid all the time. It is a country that is trying to kill you every day. And if you are not part of the system, you are already as good as dead”.