January 31, 2023

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Ilya Yashin: A critic of the Kremlin has been imprisoned for eight and a half years, in the latest blow to what remains of the Russian opposition

Ilya Yashin: A critic of the Kremlin has been imprisoned for eight and a half years, in the latest blow to what remains of the Russian opposition



CNN

A Moscow court on Friday sentenced a Kremlin critic Ilya Yashin To eight years and six months in prison, according to Russian State media, RIA Novosti, in a blow to what remains of the opposition in the country.

It is not clear whether Yashin’s prison sentence for spreading “false information” about the Russian military includes time already spent in prison during court hearings.

Russian investigators give his statements about the circumstances of the murder in Butcha It is a criminal offense under recently introduced legislation, which makes it illegal to defame Russia’s armed forces.

Yashin criticized my “authors” for the “hysterical verdict” in a post on his official Telegram account.

The authors of the ruling are optimistic about Putin’s prospects. In my opinion, they are very optimistic.

“But we also have no reason to grieve, for we have won this trial, friends. The process began as a denunciation of me as ‘the people’s doctor’, but has turned into an anti-war platform. We spoke the truth about war crimes and called for an end to the bloodshed. In response, they were heard A jumble of slogans from the Cold War, which the Prosecutor General expressed confusedly,” Yashin continued.

“With this hysterical ruling, the government wants to intimidate us all, but in reality it only shows its weakness. Strong leaders are calm and self-confident, and only the weakest seek to silence everyone, to burn any opposition. So today I have nothing left but to repeat what was said on the day Arrest me: You’re not afraid, and you don’t have to be, “the post reads.

In closing remarks to the court on Monday, prior to the verdict, Yashin made a statement to the judge, President Vladimir Putin and the Russian public. “As if they will shut my mouth and I will be forbidden to speak forever. Everyone understands that this is the goal,” he said.

I am isolated from society because they want me to shut up. I promise as long as I live I will never be. My job is to tell the truth. I will not give up the truth even behind bars. After all, quoting the classic: “Lie is the religion of slaves.”

Yashin, who is also a close ally 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 remained a staunch critic of Putin for years to come, and also served as a mayor in a small Moscow municipality before he was banned from running for public office again.

In June he was sentenced to 15 days in prison for disobeying the police, charges he described at the time as part of a pressure campaign by the authorities to force him to leave Russia.

Navalny was poisoned With the use of a nerve agent in 2020, many Western officials attacked and Navalny himself openly blamed the Kremlin. Russia denied any involvement.

After a five-month stay in Germany recovering from Novichok poisoning, Navalny returned last year to Moscow, where he was promptly 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 said it was politically motivated.

On Friday, Navalny criticized Yashin’s imprisonment. In a statement posted on his social media accounts, he said: “Putin’s rule is shameless and lawless. Ilya will not be silenced and it should not frighten the honest Russian people.”

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

In the statement, Navalny said that Yashin was his “first friend”, whom he made in politics and had known him since the age of 18. “Knowing Lyashin for a long time, I would not even try to write something like:“ Wait, Ilya. ”And so I know that he did everything right and will endure everything.

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

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

He added that he believed Yashin was a symbol of Russian resistance against the war.

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