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Two Russian opposition activists sentenced to 4.5 years in prison

July 24, 2014, 22:25 UTC+3
Udaltsov, the leader of Russia’s opposition Left Front movement, and Razvozhayev, an assistant to a Russian State Duma deputy, will serve their prison terms in a general regime penal colony
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© AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev

MOSCOW, July 24 /ITAR-TASS/. The Moscow City Court has sentenced two Russian opposition figureheads, Sergei Udaltsov and Leonid Razvozzhayev, to four and a half years in prison.

Udaltsov, the leader of Russia’s opposition Left Front movement, and Razvozhayev, an assistant to a Russian State Duma deputy, will serve their prison terms in a general regime penal colony.

Razvozzhayev was also sentenced to a 150,000-rouble fine (4,228 USD).

Police initiated criminal proceedings against Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev after the NTV television channel had released the Anatomy of Protest 2 documentary in which the two men met Georgian politician Givi Targamadze to discuss organization of mass riots.

Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev are believed to have been the organizers, while Targamadze financed the white-ribbon opposition rally on Bolotanaya.

The case of mass riots on Bolotnaya Square in the center of Moscow was launched after events that took place on May 6, 2012, when an opposition rally sanctioned by the authorities turned into clashes with police. Over 400 people were detained for violating law and order; more than 30 police officers were injured, just as a few dozen other people.

The case was initiated under the Russian Criminal Code’s Article 212 on mass riots and Article 318 on the use of force against representatives of authorities. Some 30 people were involved in the case. Criminal charges against 11 of them were dropped as a result of a presidential amnesty timed to the 20th anniversary of the Russian Constitution in December 2013.

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