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‘Putin will be toppled before sentence ends’ Russian opposition politician declares as he is jailed

A Russian opposition politician who was sentenced today to eight and a half years in prison for criticizing Ukraine’s brutal war declared in court that Vladimir Putin would be impeached long before his sentence was completed.

Ilya Yashin, 39, a Moscow council member, was convicted of spreading “false information” about Russia’s heinous war crimes in Bucha in the highest sentence under new legislation criminalizing criticism of the war.

His supporters in the courtroom applauded Yashin, who smiled and waved to family despite being handcuffed as the verdict was read.

Yashin, one of the few Kremlin critics to remain in Russia, addressed supporters before being led away and predicted that Putin would be impeached long before his release.

Ilya Yashin, 39, A Moscow Councilor, Was Convicted Of Spreading 'False Information' About Russia'S Heinous War Crimes In Bucha In The Most High-Profile Sentence Under New Legislation Criminalizing Criticism Of The War

Ilya Yashin, 39, a Moscow councilor, was convicted of spreading ‘false information’ about Russia’s heinous war crimes in Bucha in the most high-profile sentence under new legislation criminalizing criticism of the war

Russian Opposition Leader, Former Moscow Deputy Ilya Yashin (C), Stands In A Defendant'S Cage On Friday Ahead Of A Hearing At Meshchansky Court In Moscow, Russia.

Russian Opposition Leader, Former Moscow Deputy Ilya Yashin (C), Stands In A Defendant'S Cage On Friday Ahead Of A Hearing At Meshchansky Court In Moscow, Russia.

Russian opposition leader, former Moscow deputy Ilya Yashin (C), stands in a defendant’s cage on Friday ahead of a hearing at Meshchansky Court in Moscow, Russia.

“Don’t get upset, it’s okay,” Yashin told his supporters. “If anyone thinks that Putin will rule for eight years, then he is a very big optimist.”

During sentencing, Judge Oksana Goryunova said Yashin had committed a crime by “knowingly spreading false information about the Russian armed forces”.

In April, Yashin described the killing of civilians in Bucha as a “massacre,” referring to a town near the capital Kyiv where civilians killed after Russian troops were forced to retreat were found.

During the trial at the Meshchansky District Court in Moscow, Yashin argued that his case was fabricated and “shows all the hallmarks of illegal political persecution.” He noted that in the video he quoted Russian official sources along with Ukrainian statements to give his audience an objective view.

The Moscow city councilor is an ally of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny and was close to Boris Nemtsov, an opposition politician who was killed near the Kremlin in 2015.

“Another shameless and lawless verdict by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin will not silence Ilya and it should not intimidate the honest people of Russia,” Navalny said on Instagram shortly after the verdict.

Navalny, 46, is serving a nine-year prison sentence for embezzlement widely regarded as politically motivated. His political organizations are banned.

Yashin, One Of The Few Kremlin Critics To Remain In Russia, Addressed Supporters Before Being Led Away And Predicted That Putin Would Be Impeached Long Before His Release.

Yashin, One Of The Few Kremlin Critics To Remain In Russia, Addressed Supporters Before Being Led Away And Predicted That Putin Would Be Impeached Long Before His Release.

Yashin, one of the few Kremlin critics to remain in Russia, addressed supporters before being led away and predicted that Putin would be impeached long before his release.

Yashin remained in Russia even after Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24 and regularly condemned the Kremlin’s offensive in Ukraine to his 1.3 million YouTube subscribers.

He was tried under new laws that came into effect after February, as fighting in Ukraine intensified, to crack down on what authorities consider to be harmful or false information about the Russian military.

In his closing statements at the final hearing this month, Yashin called on the Russian leader to “stop this madness immediately.”

“We must recognize that this policy towards Ukraine is wrong, withdraw troops from its territory and proceed to a diplomatic settlement of the conflict,” he said. “I will not give up the truth, not even behind bars.”

“When hostilities started, I didn’t hesitate for a second,” Yashin said.

“I felt I should stay in Russia, tell the truth loudly and do everything I could to end the bloodshed. It is better to spend ten years behind bars and remain an honest person than to be quietly ashamed of the blood your government has shed.”

In a post-conviction statement, Yashin said: “With that hysterical sentence, the authorities want to scare us all, but it actually shows their weakness. Only the weak want to silence everyone and banish any dissent.’

Putin’s “goddaughter” – TV star and Kremlin critic Ksenia Sobchak – today denounced the “monstrous” prison sentence for Yashin, her ex-boyfriend.

Sobchak, 41, who opposes Putin, her supposed godfather who was close to her father, said of the verdict handed down in a Moscow court: “Terribly unfair, monstrous. And how noble Ilya is in his fidelity to principles.”

Putin'S 'Goddaughter' - Tv Star And Kremlin Critic Ksenia Sobchak - Today Denounced The 'Monstrous' Prison Sentence For Yashin, Her Ex-Boyfriend

Putin'S 'Goddaughter' - Tv Star And Kremlin Critic Ksenia Sobchak - Today Denounced The 'Monstrous' Prison Sentence For Yashin, Her Ex-Boyfriend

Putin’s ‘goddaughter’ – TV star and Kremlin critic Ksenia Sobchak – today denounced the ‘monstrous’ prison sentence for Yashin, her ex-boyfriend

She added that Yashin had “shown courage in the face of the abyss” as she urged him to “hold on.”

Prosecutors previously argued that Yashin “inflicted significant harm on Russia” and “increased political tensions” when Russian troops fought in Ukraine.

Another hearing last month ended with a scuffle between court officials and Yashin’s father when it emerged that guards had told Yashin’s mother not to speak to her son again.

Today, Yashin’s father, Valery, praised those who came out to support his son.

“Even strangers approached and offered messages of support,” he said. “This is very dear to us.”

Today, Yashin'S Father Valery (Pictured) Praised Those Who Came Out To Support His Son

Today, Yashin'S Father Valery (Pictured) Praised Those Who Came Out To Support His Son

Today, Yashin’s father Valery (pictured) praised those who came out to support his son

A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called on authorities to release Yashin “immediately and unconditionally”.

“The bulldozing of critical voices continues,” said spokesman Peter Stano, who described the matter as “politically motivated and unacceptable.”

Yashin was arrested in late June while walking through a park in Moscow and charged with spreading “false” information about the Russian military.

Pro-Putin commentators applauded the verdict, with Sergei “Zergulio” Kolyasniko praising the “big news” and urging that Yashin be jailed along with another imprisoned opposition figure Alexei Navalny, his closest ally, so that they are “mittened together”. can sew’.

Another, Boris Rozhin, said: ‘The Law on Discrediting the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation was written to silence such figures.

“Strange that some only understood this at the end.”

He said Russia was not sufficiently “totalitarian and tyrannical” and that the punishment should have been more severe.

Tens of thousands of Russians – many of them independent journalists – left the country after the outbreak of the conflict and when the Kremlin said in September it was recruiting thousands of men into the army.

Another Moscow councillor, Alexei Gorinov, was sentenced to seven years in prison in July for speaking out against the Ukraine offensive.

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Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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