A Moscow court sentenced Russian opposition politician and journalist Vladimir Kara-Mourza to 25 years in jail for several charges.
The charges against the opposition politician include “high treason” and spreading “fakes” about the war in the context of Putin’s regime all-out repression armidth Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Vladimir Kara-Murza is a prominent opposition activist who twice survived poisonings he blamed on the Kremlin and has been behind bars since his arrest a year ago. He dismissed the charges against him as political and compared the prosecution of him to show trials under the regime of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
The court also imposed a fine of 400 thousand rubles and banned him from engaging in journalistic activities for seven years after his release.
In his final statement last week, Kara-Murza said he remained proud to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “dictatorship” and his decision to send troops to Ukraine.
“I know that the day will come when the darkness engulfing our country will dissipate,” Kara-Murza said in remarks published last week on Russian social networks and opposition media. “And then our society will open its eyes and shudder when it realizes what terrible crimes have been committed in its name.”
The charges against Kara-Murza stem from his March 2022 speech to the Arizona House of Representatives in which he denounced Russia’s military action in Ukraine. Investigators added the treason charges while he was in custody.
Kara-Murza, a journalist, was an associate of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was killed near the Kremlin in 2015.
Kara-Murza was poisoned twice – in 2015 and 2017
On May 26, 2015, Kara-Murza was urgently brought to hospital due to a sharp deterioration in his health. On May 28, it became known that he was put into a state of medication-induced sleep.
Doctors diagnosed him with acute renal failure. Kara-Murza went abroad for rehabilitation but then returned to Russia.
On February 2, 2017, Kara-Murza was again hospitalized with the same symptoms.
Bellingcat found out that in the three months before the first poisoning, Vladimir Kara-Murza was accompanied by alleged FSB officers on at least four occasions during his travels in Russia.
In both cases of poisoning, Kara-Murza appealed to the Investigative Committee of Russia, but they did not even open a case.
Mr Kara-Murza was arrested in April 2022 in the case of “fakes” about the Russian army.
Radical Russian regime’s law on “false information”
Prominent Russian activist Vladimir Kara-Murza says many Russians oppose military action against Ukraine, but Putin’s regime is crushing dissidents.
Russia passed a law criminalizing the dissemination of “false information” about its military days after sending troops to Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. Authorities used the law to stifle criticism of what the Kremlin calls “a special military operation.”
Another leading opposition figure, Ilya Yashin, was sentenced to 8,5 years in prison late last year for discrediting the military.
Another opposition leader in Russia, Alexei Navalny, who is currently facing a similar sentence of 24 years and 9 months, may also face a similar verdict.
Jailing all opponents of the authoritarian regime is one the methods of war propaganda, which is used by Putin’s regime in Russia, as explained in this video.