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Russian man jailed 8 1/2 years for Ukraine motion criticism

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MOSCOW — A distinguished Russian opposition determine was on Friday sentenced to eight 1/2 years in jail after being convicted on costs stemming from his criticism of the Kremlin’s motion in Ukraine.

The sentence handed to Ilya Yashin, one of many few Kremlin critics to have stayed in Russia, supplied the newest indication of an intensified crackdown on dissent by Russian authorities.

“With that hysterical sentence, the authorities wish to scare us all however it successfully reveals their weak point,” Yashin mentioned in an announcement by way of his legal professionals after the choose handed the sentence. “Solely the weak wish to shut everybody’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 prison legislation after Russian President Vladimir Putin despatched troops into Ukraine.

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

In the course of the trial at Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court docket, Yashin argued that his case has been fabricated and “has all of the markings of unlawful political persecution.” He famous that within the video he cited Russian official sources together with Ukrainian statements to provide his viewers an goal view.

In his last remarks Monday, he mentioned that he considers it his obligation to inform the reality. “I cannot resign the reality behind bars,” he mentioned.

“When the hostilities started, I didn’t hesitate for a second,” Yashin mentioned. “I felt I ought to stay in Russia, loudly inform the reality and attempt to do all what I may to finish the bloodshed. It’s higher to take a seat behind bars for a decade and stay an trustworthy individual than silently really feel disgrace for the blood spilled by your authorities.”

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