Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin, who risks being jailed 10 years for denouncing President Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine, went on trial in Moscow on Wednesday.
The 39-year-old Moscow city councillor is in the dock as part of an unprecedented crackdown on dissent in Russia, with most opposition activists either in jail or in exile.
Yashin refused to leave after Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24 and regularly took to his YouTube channel, which has 1.3 million subscribers, to condemn the Kremlin’s offensive.
He is an ally of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny and was close to Boris Nemtsov, an opposition politician assassinated near the Kremlin in 2015.
Yashin sought to put on a brave face for the opening of the trial, laughing, giving a thumbs up and stretching in the defendant’s glass box, an AFP correspondent said.
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