ROSTOV-ON-DON, July 20 (RAPSI) — The Rostov Regional Court has sentenced opera singer Vadim Cheldiev to 10 years in a strict regime colony for his calls to participate in a rally against anti-COVID restrictions in April 2020 in the city of Vladikavkaz.

On April 20, 2020, Cheldiev organized mass riots on Freedom Square in Vladikavkaz (Republic of North Ossetia-Alania), which involved the destruction of property and armed resistance to government officials, is reported by the United press service of the courts of the Rostov region.

The court also established that on April 1, 2020, Cheldiev publicly stated on the Internet that there was no coronavirus infection. Thus, he encouraged people to neglect elementary security measures.

Also, on April 18 of the same year, the opera singer used violence against a representative of the authorities performing his official duties. Fortunately, his actions did not cause serious harm to the health of the victim, the press service noted.

Alongside Cheldiev, a number of other persons were sentenced to terms up to 8,6 years in a strict regime colony for organizing mass riots in Vladikavkaz. As yet, the sentence has not become final, according to the report.

Earlier, the Pervomaisky District Court of the city of Rostov-on-Don had sentenced to terms up to 4,3 years five other participants in the Vladikavkaz protests.

The trials were held in Rostov-on-Don by the decision of the Russia’s Supreme Court at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office. The petition was motivated by the possibility of the protesters to put pressure on the judges of North Ossetia and neighboring regions, the report notes.