Updated Mar 22, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Putin critic Alexei Navalny sentenced to nine years in prison

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny is escorted out of a police station on January 18, 2021, in Khimki, outside Moscow.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny being taken out of a police station in Khimki, outside Moscow, last year. Photo: Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images

Alexei Navalny has been convicted of fraud and contempt of court and sentenced to nine years in a maximum security prison, Russian local media reported.

Why it matters: The prominent Russian opposition leader and Kremlin critic is already serving a prison sentence of about 2.5 years for violating parole, for which he was charged over his recovery in Germany after surviving a poisoning attempt by Russia's security forces in 2020.

  • Russian prosecutors were seeking to move Navalny from a prison camp east of Moscow to a maximum security penal colony for 13 years, a Russian court noted.

Driving the news: A judge ruled that Navalny would also have to pay a fine of 1.2 million rubles, which is approximately $11,500, per AP.

  • During Tuesday's trial, Navalny denied all charges brought against him, and sometimes smiled during his sentencing as he "appeared in the makeshift court" outside Moscow, dressed in his black prison uniform, while journalists watched his via video link, AFP reported.

The big picture: Russian financial authorities added Navalny and several of his allies to the country’s registry of terrorists and extremists, freezing their bank accounts in January.

  • A Russian court last June labeled Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation, a group created to expose corruption within the Kremlin, "extremist" — meaning anyone associated with the group could face prison sentences of up to 10 years.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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