Ilya Yashin, a critic of the war in Ukraine, has been sentenced to 15 days in prison by a Russian court. The 38-year-old was arrested Monday and was taken to a detention facility in the Russian capital’s Luzhniki neighborhood.

The municipal councillor was taken into custody while he was walking with a journalist friend in a Moscow park. He was convicted of “disobedience to the police” during his arrest, according to the Moscow court press service.

Yashin has denied any wrongdoing and said on Telegram that the charges had been “fabricated.”

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“I am not crazy, to get in a fight with three policemen,” he said, adding that his case could spiral into a longer jail term.

“They say that he insulted [the police] and swore during his arrest. IT IS NOT TRUE,” his friend, journalist Irina Babloyan, the latter wrote on Telegram.

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

“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.”

Who is Ilya Yashin?

Yashin is the co-founder and one of the leaders of the political movement Solidarnost. He is also the leader of the Moscow branch of the PARNAS.

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In 2005, he was one of the founders of the civic youth movement Oborona. He was an active participant in Dissenters’ Marches and the rallies “For Fair Elections.”

In 2012, he was elected to the Russian Opposition Coordination Council. 

On 31 December 2010, Yashin was arrested for demonstrating in Moscow at another rally for Strategy-31. He was taken to a police station and detained for fifteen days. He claimed at the time that the evidence was fabricated against him by the police.

Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience, along with Boris Nemtsov and Konstantin Kosiakin.