Russia jails artists amid crackdown on dissent

TALLINN, Estonia (AP) — A Moscow court has ordered pretrial detention for a theater director facing charges of justifying terrorism,. Friday’s decision was the latest move in a relentless crackdown on dissent in Russia that spiked to unprecedented levels since Moscow’s forces invaded Ukraine. Prominent independent theater director and playwright Zhenya Berkovich was jailed for two months pending investigation and trial. Berkovich was detained in Moscow on Thursday because of the play she staged called “Finist, the Brave Falcon.” It depicts Russian women who faced prosecution after being lured into marriage and life in Syria by representatives of radical Islam. The authorities allege it justifies terrorism. The play’s author Svetlana Petriychuk was also detained. Both maintain their innocence.