Ilya Yashin is one of Russia’s leading opposition figures. She was jailed eight-and-a half years for spreading fake news about Russia’s military.
Yashin was one of the few Kremlin critics who remained in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. He continued his opposition to war.
After he condemned Russian war crimes in Bucha, Ukraine, he was taken into custody
Russia soon made it a crime to report false information shortly after the invasion.
Although several Russians were sentenced to prison, Yashin is still the longest.
Although he denied the charges, Judge Oksana Goryunova stated that he knew of fake information concerning the Russian Armed Forces.
He had previously spoken to his YouTube channel last April about the massacre of hundreds of civilians in Ukraine by Russia’s occupying force in Bucha. This was outside of Kyiv.
The court was informed by him that he gave both the Ukrainian and Russian versions of his story. He shared stories and images from other sources, including the BBC. Russia’s defense ministry condemned the allegations as an “intimidation” and described images of civilians killed as “staged”.
Prosecutors wanted a sentence of nine years in prison. Maria Eismont, his lawyer, stated that they will appeal the verdict.
Yashin posted a Telegram message to his supporters, saying that there is no reason for sadness: “We told truth about war crimes. We called for an end of the bloodshed.”
Alexei Navalny (Russia’s most well-known opposition leader) said that the “shameless, lawless verdict of Putin’s Court will not silence Ilya”, calling him probably his first friend in politics.
Interview with Yashin by BBC Russian, July. Yashin stated that his arrest was not surprising, since Russian authorities made it clear there were only two options for Kremlin enemies: emigration and jail.
When asked if he would still be able to challenge Russia’s president while in prison, he replied that it was crucial there are people who can resist.
Yashin supporters condemned Friday’s sentence in jail as unjust and violative of freedom of expression, speaking outside of court.