Sunday, January 29

Russia sentences an opponent to eight and a half years for denouncing war crimes

The Russian Justice has sentenced this Friday to eight and a half years in prison the opposition leader Iliá Yashin for denouncing the war crimes allegedly committed by the Russian Army in the north of Kiev.

The judge has considered fully proven Yashin’s guilt for spreading “false information” about the Armed Forces disclosed by foreign media motivated by “political hatred.”

“Yashin knowingly disseminated false information about the Armed Forces presented as truthful information,” judge Oxana Goriunova ruled during the visit held at the Meshanski court in Moscow.

Article 207.3 of the penal code punishes the dissemination of false information about the Russian Army with ten years in prison.

This is the largest sentence handed down against a Russian citizen since the law was passed at the start of the Russian military campaign in Ukraine in February.

“With this hysterical ruling, the authorities want to intimidate us all, but, in reality, they simply confirm their weakness. Strong leaders are calm and self-confident and only the weak do everything possible to cover everyone’s mouth and finish off all dissidents,” Yashin said about the ruling on his Telegram channel.

The opponent has assured that “changes are just around the corner” and that by sentencing him to eight and a half years, the Justice valued Putin’s options to continue in the Kremlin with excessive optimism.

The sentence should have been issued last Wednesday, but a bomb warning forced the hearing to be postponed until today, Friday, the day in which five Moscow courts also had to be evacuated for the same reason.

The ruling contradicts Yashin’s claims that he merely expressed his point of visit, as the opponent would have used foreign sources to frame the Russian military.

The Investigative Committee of Russia reported at the time that the photos and videos of Bucha released by the Ukrainian authorities were a “provocation”.

Yashin committed this alleged crime on April 7, during a live stream on YouTube in which he alluded to allegations of war crimes allegedly committed by Russian soldiers in the town of Bucha.

The politician addressed the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in the last court hearing to request that he withdraw the troops from the neighboring country.

An ally of opposition leader Alexei Navalni, who is serving nine years in prison, Yashin is one of the few politicians critical of the Kremlin who has not left Russia since the start of the “special military operation.”

Amnesty International (AI) already demanded in July to cease criminal prosecution of the opponent for exercising the right to freedom of expression and “criticizing the actions of the Russian army in Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office denounced the discovery in Bucha, 30 kilometers from kyiv, of some 400 bodies with signs of shooting, torture or trauma of different severity, part of them exhumed from mass graves.