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Anti-Corruption Protester Jailed for 8 Months After Navalny's Moscow Rally

Alexander Tarasenkov / TASS / Interpress

A protester arrested at Alexei Navalny's anti-corruption rally in Moscow on March 26 has been sentenced to eight months in prison.

Yuri Kuliy is the first demonstrator to face the court after the protest, which saw more than 1,000 people detained by police in Moscow alone.

The demonstration, which was led by opposition presidential hopeful Alexei Navalny, had not been given official permission to take place.

Kuliy, a Moscow-based actor, pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of Russia's national guard.

He told Russia's Ekho Moskvy radio station that he had pleaded guilty in hopes of receiving a suspended sentence.

Prosecutors had originally asked the judge for a two-year jail term.

Kuliy's lawyer, Alexei Liptser, maintains that the actor had grabbed the officer's hand in a bid to protect an elderly man from the riot police.

Navalny called for mass demonstrations across Russia in March after accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of heading a multi-billion-dollar corruption scheme.

He said that the protest march would demand "answers to justified questions" on the politician's finances.

The Kremlin denied the claims, instead alleging that Navalny had offered to pay the thousands of students and young people who attended the march.

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