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Moscow Protesters Sentenced in ‘New Bolotnaya’ Case

Yury Kochetkov / EPA / TASS

Russian authorities have begun handing jail sentences to activists on protest-related charges after they took to the streets in support of fair elections this summer.

The Investigative Committee opened criminal proceedings following the July 27 opposition protest and placed 14 suspects of what it called mass civil unrest in pre-trial detention. Charges of mass civil unrest carry a maximum prison sentence of eight years.

Observers have compared the case to the aftermath of mass anti-Kremlin demonstrations in 2012, when dozens of activists were prosecuted and jailed in what has become known as the “Bolotnaya Square case.” 

Here’s a brief overview of those who have been sentenced as of Oct. 9:

Ivan Podkopayev, 25, originally sentenced to three years in jail after a court convicted him of pepper-spraying police. His sentence was commuted from three to two years on Oct. 9.

Danila Beglets, 27, sentenced to two years after a court convicted him of grabbing a police officer by the wrist. His sentence was upheld on Oct. 7.

Kirill Zhukov, 28, sentenced to three years after a court convicted him of lifting a police helmet visor. His sentence was upheld on Oct. 9.

— Yevgeny Kovalenko, 48, sentenced to three and a half years after a court convicted him of throwing a trash can at a riot police officer.

Both Podkopayev and Beglets pleaded guilty to using violence against law enforcement authorities, and both are still under investigation for mass civil unrest.

— Pavel Ustinov, 23, sentenced to three and a half years after a court found him guilty of dislocating a riot police officer’s shoulder. A Moscow court on Sept. 30 gave Ustinov a one-year suspended sentence with two years’ probation and reduced the severity of his charges from serious to moderate.

Ustinov's sentence sparked widespread public outcry after video footage showed him standing by a metro station as riot police approached and detained him. 

Who has had their charges dropped as of Oct. 9: 

Sergei Abanichev, accused of throwing a paper cup at the police.

Daniil Konon, accused of coordinating protesters.

Valery Kostenok, accused of throwing two plastic bottles at the police.

Vladislav Barabanov, accused of coordinating protesters.

Dmitry Vasilyev, not yet accused of anything.

— Alexei Minyaylo, accused of participating in mass riots.

All six now face misdemeanor instead of criminal charges after the Investigative Committee dropped charges against them.

The Investigative Committee dropped the "mass unrest" charges against popular YouTube blogger and political science student Yegor Zhukov. He now faces new charges of using the internet to call for extremist activity which carry a prison sentence of up to five years, human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov wrote on his Telegram channel. 

The Basmannyy district court approved investigators' request to move him to house arrest on Sept. 3. On Sept. 25, the court extended his pre-trial house arrest to Dec. 27.

Sergei Fomin was also moved to house arrest on Sept. 3, the Mediazona news website reported.

— Samariddin Razhabov, accused of throwing a plastic bottle at police, has had his pre-trial detention extended to Dec. 27.

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