MOSCOW (AP) — A prominent Russian opposition figure has been sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison after being convicted on charges stemming from his criticism of the Kremlin’s action in Ukraine. Friday’s sentencing of Ilya Yashin, one of the few Kremlin critics who stayed in Russia, offers the latest indication of an intensified crackdown on dissent. In a statement conveyed through his lawyers, Yashin said that “with that hysterical sentence, the authorities want to scare us all but it effectively shows their weakness.” Yashin was charged with spreading false information about the military — a new offense added to the country’s criminal law after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine. He rejected the charges as politically motivated.
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