ROSTOV-ON-DON, August 11. /TASS/. The North Caucasus Military Court has sentenced Ukrainian citizen Artur Panov to eight years in a general penal colony for plotting a terrorist attack on a supermarket in Russia’s southern city of Rostov-on-Don. His accomplice Maksim Smyshlyayev has been handed a sentence of ten years in a high-security penal colony, a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.
"The North Caucasus Court has found Artur Panov guilty and sentenced him to eight years in a general penal colony," the judge announced. "The court also found Maksim Smyshlyayev guilty and sentenced him to ten years in a high-security penal colony," he added.
The sentence has not come into force yet.
Panov has been found guilty in accordance with the articles of the Russian Criminal Code which mention "facilitating terrorist activities," "preparations for a terrorist attack," and "illicit manufacturing of explosives," while Smyshlyayev has been convicted for facilitating terrorist activities.
The court established that Panov, being a supporter of Ukrainian nationalist ideas, had made a decision to carry out a terrorist attack in a place of mass gatherings in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, using an improvised explosive device. In order to implement his plan, he contacted Smyshlyayev, who is an ideological and political opponent of the Russian authorities.
At home, Panov produced some explosive substances and devices. From November to December 2015, he conducted a search for potential targets of the planned terrorist attack. Panov said later at a court hearing that he had picked the Okay supermarket on Malinovsky Street as the target. If the plan succeeded, Panov promised to pay a cash reward to Smyshlyayev and assist him in leaving Russia so that he could escape criminal responsibility.
In early December 2015, Panov was arrested by law enforcement officers in Rostov-on-Don. At the time, he had not yet turned 18 years of age. Smyshlyayev was detained in April 2016.
In his final speech, Panov said he did not intend to file an appeal. According to him, he did not agree that Smyshlyayev had assisted him in preparing the explosion. Besides, he opposed the use of the term "terrorist attack" in his case. However, he pleaded guilty. Smyshlyayev, in turn, did not plead guilty and said that he could not be considered an accomplice in crime.