He was one of the last public opponents of the Kremlin not behind bars or a refugee abroad. A Moscow court on Monday (April 17) sentenced opponent Vladimir Kara-Mourza to 25 years in prison on several counts, including that of "high treason", in a context of all-out repression in Russia, accentuated since the invasion of Ukraine.
After a closed trial, the court announced that it found Mr. Kara-Murza guilty of "high treason", spreading "false information" about the Russian military and illegal work for an organization " undesirable,” according to a journalist from Agence France-Presse. A long-time opponent of President Vladimir Putin, the 41-year-old was sentenced to the cumulative sentence required by the prosecution, the heaviest he faced for these charges.
Arrested in April for denouncing the invasion of Ukraine
The Russian dissident was arrested in Moscow in April 2022 for speaking out against Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "Not only do I not repent of any of this, but I'm proud of it," he said in his final statements. He also said he looked forward to the day "when those who started and started this war, and not those who tried to stop it, will be recognized as criminals".
Mr. Kara-Mourza, close to the leading opponent Boris Nemtsov, assassinated in 2015, was one of the last critics of the Kremlin still present on Russian soil and not to be imprisoned.
His trial was held behind closed doors, as Russia passed a law criminalizing the "spreading of false information" about its military shortly after sending troops to Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Authorities used the law to stifle criticism of what the Kremlin calls "a special military operation."