Prominent Putin foe sentenced to eight and a half years in jail over criticism of Ukraine battle


Russia Opposition
Russian opposition activist and former municipal deputy of the Krasnoselsky district Ilya Yashin gestures, smiling as he stands inside a glass cubicle in a courtroom, previous to a listening to in Moscow, Russia, December 9, 2022.

Yury Kochetkov/AP

Moscow — A outstanding Russian opposition determine was on Friday sentenced to eight 1/2 years in jail after being convicted on costs stemming from his criticism of Vladimir Putin’s battle on Ukraine. The sentence handed to Ilya Yashin, one of many few Kremlin critics to have stayed in Russia, provided the newest indication of an intensified crackdown on dissent by Russian authorities.
“With that hysterical sentence, the authorities want to scare us all but it effectively shows their weakness,” Yashin stated in an announcement by way of his legal professionals after the choose handed the sentence. “Only the weak want to shut everyone’s mouth and eradicate any dissent.”
Yashin was charged with spreading false details about the navy — a brand new offense added to the nation’s felony regulation after Russian President Vladimir Putin despatched troops into Ukraine.
Speaking Monday simply earlier than sentencing, Yashin addressed Putin instantly, urging him to “immediately stop this madness, recognize that the policy on Ukraine was wrong, pull back troops from its territory and switch to a diplomatic settlement of the conflict.”

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The costs in opposition to Yashin associated to a YouTube livestream video during which he talked about Ukrainians being killed within the Kyiv suburb of Bucha. He rejects the costs as politically motivated. 

During his trial at Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court, Yashin argued that his case has been fabricated and “has all the markings of illegal political persecution.” He famous that within the video he cited Russian official sources together with Ukrainian statements to offer his viewers an goal view.
In his remaining remarks, Yashin emphasised that he considers it his responsibility to inform the reality, saying: “I will not renounce the truth behind bars.”
“When the hostilities began, I didn’t hesitate for a second,” Yashin stated. “I felt I should remain in Russia, loudly tell the truth and try to do all what I could to end the bloodshed. It’s better to sit behind bars for a decade and remain an honest person than silently feel shame for the blood spilled by your government.”

Vladimir Kara-Murza

In April, one other outstanding opposition determine, Vladimir Kara-Murza, who has suffered two suspected poisoning assaults, was detained close to his home and sentenced to fifteen days in jail for disobeying a police order. Kara-Murza was arrested only a few hours after CNN aired an interview with him during which he referred to as Putin’s authorities a “murderous regime” and prompt the battle in Ukraine would result in the Russian chief’s downfall.

Human Rights Watch denounced Yashin’s sentencing as a part of “continued efforts to dismantle and decapitate Russia’s peaceful political opposition” and demanded his instant launch.
“The verdict against Yashin is a travesty of justice and an act of cowardice, directed by a Kremlin that feels threatened by vocal and visible critics like him,” stated Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

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