Russian court jails opposition politician Ilya Yashin for 15 days

Yashin, a critic of the war in Ukraine, was detained for disobeying a police officer – a charge he denies.

Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin
Ilya Yashin is one of the last Russian opposition figures still in Russia [File: Alexander Nemenov/AFP]

A court in Moscow has sentenced prominent Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin to 15 days in detention for disobeying a police officer.

“The Khamovniki court has just sent me to jail for 15 days,” Yashin, an outspoken critic of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, said on Twitter.

Speaking in court, the 38-year-old said he did not resist the police and insisted the case against him was politically motivated. He called it an apparent attempt to push him out of the country and intimidate him.

“This detention is a way to put pressure on me,” he said in comments released on messaging app Telegram.

He said he did not rule out the detention was also an attempt to launch a criminal case against him in the future.

Yashin was arrested late on Monday while he was walking through a Moscow park with his friend, journalist Irina Babloyan, the latter wrote on Telegram.

“They say that he insulted [the police] and swore during his arrest. IT IS NOT TRUE,” she wrote.

Earlier on Tuesday, Yashin had posted a selfie, saying he was on his way to a court hearing that “apparently will formalise 15 days of detention for me”.

“Will tell you details later.”

Yashin, a municipal deputy for Moscow’s Krasnoselsky district, is one of few Russian politicians who openly oppose the war in Ukraine and remain in Russia.

“I am staying in Russia,” he had tweeted on March 7. “I have said before and I keep repeating: Russians and Ukrainians should not be killing each other. If I am destined to end up in prison for anti-war speeches, I will accept it with dignity.”

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, thousands of people have been arrested at protests in dozens of cities across Russia. The Russian government has also adopted a law criminalising the spread of false information about its military troops in Ukraine.

Source: News Agencies