Alexei Moskalyov had fled house arrest in Russia before a court sentenced him to two years in prison for "discrediting" the Russian army. His daughter had drawn a sketch at school against Russia's war in Ukraine.Belarusian authorities said Thursday that they detained a Russian fugitive who was sentenced to prison in Russia over his daughter's Ukraine-themed school drawing.

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Alexei Moskalyov, 54, had fled house arrest in Russia before a court handed him a two-year sentence in absentia for "discrediting" the Russian army.

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Russian and Belarusian state media said he was being held "upon request of the Russian police."

Last year, Moskalyov's now-13-year-old daughter, Maria, drew a sketch at school of missiles next to a Russian flag flying toward a woman and child standing by a Ukrainian flag.

Memorial, the outlawed Russian rights group that won the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize, has declared Moskalyov a political prisoner.

What happened to Maria?

The girl's school had contacted the police. Maria was questioned and Moskalyov was fined

for earlier critical comments on social media, according to his lawyer and supporters.

The pair were separated as the daughter was taken to a local "rehabilitation center" for minors.

A lawyer representing the single father has said it was "difficult to predict" what would happen to his daughter.

A Russian court is expected to consider the authorities' petition to restrict Moskalyov's parental rights next week.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has defended Moskalyov's sentencing and described his parenting as "deplorable."

fb/sri (AFP, AP)

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 31, 2023 04:10 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website