Metro 2033 author Dmitry Glukhovsky sentenced to 8 years in prison for criticizing Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Dissident Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky poses for a photograph at the 23rd Frankfurt Book Fair at the Messe in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany, on October 21, 2022.
(Image credit: ANDRE PAIN (Getty Images))

An Associated Press report says Metro 2033 author Dmitry Glukhovsky has been sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of spreading false information about the Russian military in online posts.

Charges were first leveled against Glukhovsky in June 2022, a few months after the Russian government outlawed independent reporting and protest of the invasion of Ukraine. The charges appeared to arise from a March 12 Instagram post in which Glukhovsky invoked the city of Mariupol, which stood for months as a focal point of Ukrainian resistance, and called on readers to "recognize that this is a real war against an entire nation and stop it!"

Glukhovsky was found guilty of posting text and video messages on his social media channels accusing Russian soldiers of committing crimes in Ukraine. Prosecutors dismissed Glukhovsky's allegations as fake.

Despite the charges and being declared a "foreign agent," Glukhovsky has remained vocally critical of the invasion of Ukraine, and of Russian ruler Vladimir Putin. "Ukraine has been resisting Putin's aggression for a year now," he wrote in February. "As it was a year ago, I am quite convinced that this war is just as destructive for Russia and our people as it is lethal and destructive for the people of Ukraine I love.

"I feel terribly sorry for all the human lives lost in this monstrous unjust war by a tyrant who just wanted to preserve power and make history. I still demand from the Russian authorities to immediately stop this senseless and futile anti-national war and to withdraw troops from the territory of Ukraine."

Glukhovsky has also paid tribute to other victims of Russia's crackdown on dissent, including theater director Evgeniya Berkovich and opposition leaders Ilya Yashin and Alexei Navalny.

Glukhovsky became known to gamers through the FPS based on his novel Metro 2033, developed by Ukrainian studio 4A Games and released in 2010. It became a surprise hit and spawned two sequels, Metro: Last Light and Metro Exodus; they did not follow the events of his sequel novels, Metro 2034 and Metro 2035, but he worked on the Last Light script with 4A Games and is credited with "inspiring" Exodus.

Fortunately for Glukhovsky, he is not actually in Russia, and was sentenced in absentia. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.