What began as the straightforward territorial claim and annexation of Crimea in 2014 has now become a protracted, multidimensional conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine. While the two countries continue to exchange economic, political, and physical blows, Ukraine has moved its fight for permanent independence into the sphere of religion.
Russian investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was on his way to meet a source for his latest article on June 6 when he was detained by the police. They took him into custody after finding mephedrone, an illegal designer drug, in his backpack. When Golunov appeared in court two days later, his charges had increased from drug possession to drug trafficking, potentially a 10- to 20-year sentence, after the court accused him of having a drug lab in his apartment (Hodge, Nathan). Some, however, weren’t buying it. None of Golunov’s friends had ever as much as seen him drink alcohol, let alone get high, and people familiar with his apartment confirmed that the pictures authorities had shared of the drug lab couldn’t be anywhere near it (Kovalev, Alexey).