The case against Navalny appears to be politically motivated.
LONDON and Kiev – Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been sentenced to nine years in prison in a new trial, which has been criticized by human rights groups as politically motivated.
Navalny has already been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.
Prosecutors sought a new 10-year sentence for embezzlement and contempt of court, a new sentence announced in February, which the court granted, meaning Navalny will remain a prisoner until President Vladimir Putin enters his eighties.
The allegations, widely seen as politically motivated, accuse Navalny of embezzling grants from his anti-corruption foundation, an organization that conducts its high-profile investigations into alleged ill-gotten gains for Putin and his elite.
Navalny stood for hours on end when the judge found him guilty, with the opposition activist cutting a remarkably thin image after he was jailed with his lawyers. Last year, Navalny’s team said he was “fighting for his life” after he fell ill in prison after a long hunger strike.
Dissident political groups were officially designated as “extremists”, aligned with groups such as ISIS in Russia, meaning anyone who publicly supported Navalny could face imprisonment and be barred from running in the election.
Navalny is often described as one of Putin’s toughest domestic critics. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, its official social media accounts have posted regular messages criticizing the war and urging Russians to hold weekly protests against the attack.
In addition to the new sentence handed down to Navalny’s legal team, his agency posted a new investigation alleging that a huge super-yacht under construction in Italy belonged to Putin and that Western countries should confiscate assets associated with the Russian state.
Russia’s most prominent pro-democracy activist has been given new sentences as the Kremlin cracks down on civil society organizations and the free press in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine. On Monday, Facebook and Instagram were officially designated as “extremist” groups because the Kremlin wanted to control the narrative surrounding the war.
Putin has repeatedly warned against pro-Western “traitors” and “scandals” seeking to “destroy Russia.”
“Putin is stepping up his efforts to destroy Russia and is announcing the beginning of mass repression against those who do not agree with the regime,” he posted. Twitter. “This has happened before in our history, and not just ours.”