Prominent opposition politician Ilya Yashin has been transferred to a detention facility some 1,000 kilometers from Moscow even though his sentence must still be approved by an upper court, his lawyer said Tuesday.
A Moscow court sentenced Yashin, 39, to eight-and-a-half years in jail earlier in December after he was charged with spreading "false" information about the Russian military for comments he made during a YouTube stream about the civilian massacre carried out by the Russian army in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha this spring.
The Moscow city councilor’s whereabouts were unknown when the city’s prison monitoring commission reported on Monday that Yashin had been moved to “a different region.”
Lawyer Maria Eismont said that Yashin was transferred to a pre-trial detention facility in the city of Izhevsk, the capital of the republic of Udmurtia some 1,000 kilometers east of Moscow.
Yashin’s prison sentence has not yet taken effect, as an upper court must still reject his appeal and confirm his sentence, which means he must remain in pre-trial detention rather than being sent to a penal colony.
Eismont ironically called Yashin’s transfer an “early New Year’s gift” from the authorities, noting that his mother had been scheduled to visit him in Moscow later this week.