Kremlin critic Ilya Yashin lost his appeal on Wednesday, with Moscow’s city court ruling to uphold his 8-and-a-half year sentence in jail for discrediting the Russian army.
A close ally of jailed regime opponent Alexey Navalny and one of the few opposition politicians who remain in Russia, Yashin was found guilty of spreading "false information" about the war in Ukraine, a charge he denied and appealed.
According to the official statement from the court’s press service, the court "upheld the verdict of the Meshchansky District Court of Moscow dated September 12, 2022 against the former municipal deputy Ilya Yashin, who was found guilty of committing a crime under paragraph 'd' part 2 of article 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation."
Speaking in court, Yashin said he was guilty of "fulfilling [his] duty of a Russian politician and patriot, of speaking the truth about this war, in particular, about the crimes committed by Putin’s troops in the city of Bucha."
“While Russia is choking in blood, the court is considering an appeal against my sentence,” Yashin said in a court statement before the verdict, shared by his team on Telegram.
Yashin’s arrest and jail term further tightens the screws on opposition politicians and dissidents in Russia. The decision comes after another prominent Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza was sentenced to 25 years in prison for condemning the war in Ukraine.