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Kremlin Critic Kara-Murza Faces Prison on War ‘Fakes’ Charges

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a vocal critic of the war, is currently serving a 15-day administrative jail sentence on charges of disobeying police. Andrei Epikhin / TASS

Jailed Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza could face an additional 10 years in prison on newly unveiled charges of spreading “false” information about the Russian military.

Kara-Murza, who has spoken out regularly against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is currently serving the remaining five days of his 15-day administrative jail sentence on charges of disobeying police orders.

His lawyer Vadim Prokhorov said Friday that authorities had transported Kara-Murza to the main headquarters of Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes. 

Kara-Murza, 40, had been scheduled to appeal his 15-day jail sentence in a Moscow court on Friday afternoon.

The opposition figure survived two suspected poisonings in Moscow in 2015 and 2017, which he maintains were in retaliation for his efforts to lobby the West to sanction Russian officials accused of human rights abuses.

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine, authorities have introduced prison terms ranging from 10 to 15 years for spreading broadly defined “deliberately false information” about the Russian military’s actions.

At least 32 people have been charged under the newly created article of the Russian Criminal Code, according to human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov.

Between Feb. 24 and April 20, Chikov said 68 others who expressed opposition to the war faced criminal charges ranging from vandalism to assaulting police.

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