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The court is ‘way too optimistic’ about Putin’s prospects Opposition leader Ilya Yashin comments on his trial and 8.5-year sentence
Moscow’s Meschansky District Court has sentenced the Russian opposition leader Ilya Yashin to 8.5 years in a penal colony for spreading “disinformation” about the Russian military. The court claimed that, in hosting a livestream on the Russian war crimes in Bucha, Yashin was motivated by “political hatred.” After the judge announced her verdict, Yashin’s Telegram channel released a post, in which the politician wrote: “we have no reason for sadness — because, friends, we have won this process.” Meduza has translated the full text of Yashin’s comment on his trial.
So, the court has sentenced me to eight years and six months in a colony. It shows that those who issued this sentence are too optimistic about Putin’s prospects. Way too optimistic, in my opinion.
But we have no reason for sadness — because, friends, we have won this process. It was conceived as a show trial over an “enemy of the people” (embodied by me), but instead it turned into an anti-war megaphone. We spoke the truth about war crimes, and called for an end to bloodshed. In response, all we heard was a mashup of Cold-War-era slogans recited by the stammering prosecutor.
The prosecutor’s trembling hands are a vivid symbol of this process. He tried very hard to sound imposing, imitating a Stalin-era prosecutor, but he looked like a caricature, and prompted laughter from the room, again and again.
This hysterical sentence is how the regime is trying to intimidate us all, while revealing instead its own weakness. Strong leaders are calm and confident, and only weaklings try to gag everyone around, exterminating all freethinking. So, all I have left to say today is what I said on the day of my arrest: I am not afraid — and I say to you, too: don’t be afraid.
Change is not far away, and soon we’ll have to do a lot of work to restore justice and humanism in our country.
I am near you. ❤️
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