Russian opposition politician jailed for telling the truth about Bucha massacre

Russian opposition figure Yashin was given an 8.5-year prison term for referring to Russian atrocities committed during the Bucha massacre.

Ilya Yashin, a politician in the Russian opposition, was found guilty of spreading “disinformation” against the Russian army and was given an eight-and-a-half-year prison sentence by a Moscow court.

Yashin is perhaps the last significant opposition figure still alive in Russia, out of prison or dead. After he moderated an online conversation in April about the killings of innocent residents in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha by retreating Russian forces that same month, he was subsequently detained.

Although the murder of hundreds of civilians has been well-documented, and Russia has been charged with war crimes due to the incident, the court accused Yashin of spreading “lies” about the Russian soldiers when delivering the verdict.

Anyone who disagrees with the Kremlin’s official narrative of the war in Ukraine has been arrested and subjected to harassment. The Kremlin has made it illegal to refer to its “special military operation” in Ukraine as a “war.”

Yashin laughed and joked with his supporters in the courtroom as he accepted the verdict with good humor.

Yashin will be forbidden from using the internet for an additional four years following his prison term. According to Meduza, the Russian state prosecutor asked for a nine-year prison term.

Despite “knowing” that Russia is taking steps to “keep peace and security” in Ukraine, the prosecution claims Yashin “knowingly distributed false information” for “reasons of political enmity.” In July, police apprehended him.

Yashin entered a not-guilty plea to the accusations.

“So the judge gave me eight years and six months in a colony sentence. It demonstrates that the people who gave this sentence are overconfident in Putin’s prospects. In my opinion, much too optimistic,” Yashin remarked in his channel, according to Meduza.

“Friends, we have won this procedure; thus, we do not need to be upset. It was intended to be a mock trial for an “enemy of the people” (represented by myself), but it was a propaganda tool against the war. We advocated for an end to the killing and exposed the truth about war crimes. The prosecutor’s stammering recital of a collection of Cold War phrases was all we heard in response. The only thing I have to say today is what I told you the day of my arrest: I am not scared. I also urge you not to be afraid. Change is imminent, and it will take a lot of work to bring justice and compassion back to our nation.

Yashin, a prominent figure in the opposition movement, attempted to put together a coalition of opposition groups to present a unified front against the United Russia government, which controls the Duma, in the 2018 Duma elections. Nevertheless, the union lost credibility due to egos and factionalism, and Parnas received less than 1% of the vote.

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