Jailed Russian actor Mikhail Yefremov offered parole in exchange for volunteering in Ukraine war

Popular Russian actor Mikhail Yefremov, who is serving a prison sentence for a fatal car accident, has been offered parole in exchange for participating in the war against Ukraine. The veterans' organisation "Veterans of Russia" has said it will support the actor "if he repays his debt to the motherland", according to the Telegram channel Shot.

"The decision for parole is made by the court, but Mikhail Yefremov should know that he can count on our petition for his release if he wishes to become a volunteer. He has already served more than half of his sentence, considering the time spent in pre-trial detention. He has repeatedly repented and reconsidered his views on life," said Ildar Rezyapov, chairman of the organisation.

The channel reports that the veterans are preparing a respective petition for IK-4 in Belgorod region, where the actor is currently held.

Former lawyer of Yefremov, Elmara Pashaev, who is now in the combat zone, mentioned that due to Yefremov’s health, he is unlikely to be placed at the front lines but might find some role in the border area.

On 8 June 2020, Mikhail Yefremov was involved in an accident in Moscow. His car crashed into a van, and the van's driver later died from his injuries in the hospital. The investigation stated that Yefremov was driving under the influence of alcohol. The case generated substantial public attention. Yefremov admitted his guilt and expressed remorse.

In September 2020, Yefremov was sentenced to eight years in prison. The sentence was later reduced to seven and a half years after the actor compensated for the moral damages to the victim's relatives.

Earlier this year, the administration of Belgorod colony approved his petition for parole. However, a month later, it was rejected due to a delay in attending a "mandatory event" in the colony.

Mikhail Yefremov is a distinguished artist of Russia, known for his roles in dozens of films and theatre productions. He was also part of the projects "Citizen Poet" and "Mister Good", where he recited Dmitry Bykov's satirical poetry, often critical of the Russian authorities.

It should be noted that Yefremov had already completed his military service obligation as a young man; he served in the Air Force of the Soviet Army from 1982 to 1984.

  War in Ukraine, Russia