Russia opens criminal investigation against opponent Ilia Yachin

Russia opens a criminal investigation against opponent Ilia Iachine

Since beginning of the war in Ukraine, on February 24, the Russian authorities carry out a ferocious repression against the rare critics of the conflict.

Russian authorities have opened a “criminal investigation” against Ilya Yashin, one of the last opposition figures not to be in exile or sentenced to a long prison term, his lawyer announced on Tuesday. /p>

The Russian Investigative Committee, responsible for the main investigations, opened this procedure against the opponent for spreading false information about the Russian army, said on Facebook his lawyer, Vadim Prokhorov, indicating that he received a call from the investigator.

Ilia Iachine, 39, was sentenced on June 28 to 15 days in detention for disobeying the police, a charge he considered fabricated. He was therefore still in prison on Tuesday.

Mr. Iachine had said earlier on Tuesday on social media that he was supposed to be released shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

Maybe they'll get me out. Maybe not, he wrote.

Later on Tuesday, Mr. Yashin's lawyer said, quoted by Russian agencies, that the motive for the criminal investigation is that on April 7, Yashin spoke live on his YouTube channel about the murder of civilians in Boutcha, Ukraine.

Another lawyer for the opponent, Mikhail Biriukov, said that a search had been carried out at the home of Ilya Iachine in the presence of the latter, released for the occasion of detention.

Now that it's over, Yashin and I, accompanied by law enforcement officers, are going to the Investigative Committee, Mr. Biryoukov said.

< p class="e-p">Spreading false information about the Russian military is an offense punishable by 15 years in prison, introduced after the start of the conflict in Ukraine.

Since the start of the offensive on February 24, the Russian authorities have been cracking down on the few critics of the conflict, pushing many of them into exile, others being imprisoned. or prosecuted.

A well-known face of opposition to President Vladimir Putin, Mr. Yashin had chosen to stay, publicly condemning the intervention in Ukraine.< /p>

“The real reasons for my arrest are obviously political. I am an opponent, an independent [municipal] deputy, a critic of President Putin and an opponent of the war in Ukraine.

— Ilia Iachine, during his arrest last June

Mr. Yashin has been an active activist in the liberal opposition in Russia since the 2000s and took part in the great mobilization movement against Vladimir Putin in 2011-2012.

It's an ally of anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, the number one opponent of Vladimir Putin, who is serving a nine-year prison sentence in a harshly-regulated colony north of Moscow.

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