Ilya Yashin: Kremlin critic jailed for eight-and-a-half years, latest blow to Russian opposition



CNN

A Moscow court sentenced the Kremlin critic on Friday Ilya Yashin Imprisonment of eight years and six months, acc Russian State media RIA Novosti is a blow to what’s left of the country’s opposition.

It is unclear whether Yashin’s prison sentence for spreading “disinformation” about the Russian military includes time he has already spent in prison during court hearings.

Russian investigators are citing his statements about the circumstances of the murders Loofah It is a criminal offense under recently introduced legislation that makes it illegal to disparage the Russian armed forces.

In a post on his official Telegram account, Yashin lashed out at the “authors” of the “crazy judgment”.

“The authors of the verdict are optimistic about Putin’s chances. In my opinion, they are very optimistic,” he said.

“But we have no reason to be sad, because we have succeeded in this experiment, my friends. This process began as a condemnation of me as a “people’s doctor” but turned into an anti-war verdict. We spoke the truth about war crimes and put an end to the bloodshed. In response, they A slogan from the Cold War was heard, which was confusedly voiced by the lawyer,” Yashin continued.

“With this crazy judgment, the government wants to threaten us all, but in reality, it only shows its weakness. Strong leaders are calm and confident, and only weak ones try to shut everyone down and burn down any opposition. So, I must repeat today what I said on the day of my arrest: I’m not afraid and neither should you be,” the post reads.

Ahead of the ruling, Yashin issued a statement to the judge, President Vladimir Putin and the Russian public in the court’s closing remarks on Monday. “They shut me up, like I’m always forbidden to speak. Everyone understands that this is the point,” he said.

“I was isolated from society because they wanted me to be quiet. I promise I never will be as long as I live. It is my duty to tell the truth. I will not give up the truth even behind bars. Above all, the classic quote: ‘Lies are the religion of slaves’.”

Yashin is also a close associate of the imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei NavalnyHe rose to prominence during the protests he helped organize between 2011 and 2012 against Putin’s re-election to a third term.

Yashin has been a staunch Putin critic for years and served as a municipal deputy in a small Moscow municipality before being barred from running for public office again.

In June, he was sentenced to 15 days in jail for disobeying police, which he described as part of a campaign to pressure authorities to leave Russia.

Navalny drank poison With a nerve agent in 2020, several Western officials were attacked and Navalny openly blamed the Kremlin. Russia has denied any involvement.

After spending five months in Germany recovering from Novichok poisoning, Navalny returned to Moscow last year, where he was immediately arrested for violating probation terms imposed from the 2014 case. Earlier this year, Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison on fraud charges that he claimed were politically motivated.

Navalny criticized Yashin’s imprisonment on Friday. “Another shameless and illegal Putin verdict will not silence Ilya and threaten the honest people of Russia,” he said in a statement posted on his social media accounts.

“That’s another reason we have to fight, and I have no doubt that we will win in the end.”

Navalny said in the statement that Yashin was the first friend he made in politics and had known him since he was 18. “Having known Yashin for so long, I will not try to write “Wait, Ilya”. So I know that he did everything right and will endure everything, “he said.

Navalny concluded by saying that he was proud of Yashin and that he and Russia would be free.

Andrei Soldatov, who is on Russia’s wanted list and a Russian investigative journalist living in exile in London, told CNN Yashin was “a very brave person” who “chose to stay in Russia and speak out against the war.”

He believed Yashin to be a symbol of Russian resistance to the war.

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