Because he publicly denounced the murder of civilians in the Ukrainian Bucha, the Russian judiciary put Ilya Yashin on trial. The unsurprising verdict: guilty and eight and a half years in prison. The 39-year-old opposition responded with laughter.

The Kremlin critic Ilya Yashin has been sentenced to many years in prison after criticizing the military offensive in Ukraine for spreading “false information” about the Russian army. The 39-year-old was found guilty by a Moscow court. He was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison. The public prosecutor had demanded nine years in prison for Yashin. The Kremlin critic reacted to the verdict with a laugh.

Yashin was arrested in June after he posted a YouTube video denouncing the murder of civilians in Bucha, Ukraine. Moscow denies any attacks in the Ukrainian town near Kyiv. Yashin is one of the last remaining vocal critics of the leadership in Russia. Even his arrest did not prevent him from sharply criticizing the authorities and denouncing the military intervention in Ukraine.

He is considered an ally of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny and was also close to opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was assassinated near the Kremlin in 2015. Yashin is now to serve his sentence in a penal camp, the court ruled. However, he has ten days to appeal the verdict.

In his closing statement in court this week, Yashin appealed directly to Putin to “stop this madness,” referring to the war in Ukraine. The President is the person “responsible for this slaughter”.

After the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, the Russian authorities tightened the laws in order to be able to take more action against critical voices. Several people have already been sentenced to several years in prison for allegations of spreading “false information” or “discrediting” the Russian army.