×
Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Prison Conditions of Putin Critic Yashin Deteriorating – Lawyer

This grab from AFP video shows Russian opposition figure Ilya Yashin, who was sentenced in December 2022 to 8.5 years in jail for discrediting the Russian army fighting in Ukraine, appears on a screen via videolink from a colony outside Smolensk during a court hearing in Moscow on June 20. Andrey Borodulin / AFP

Prison conditions for Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin — serving 8.5 years for denouncing Moscow’s Ukraine offensive — have considerably worsened after he was moved to a punitive cell, his lawyer told AFP Thursday.

Fears for jailed Kremlin critics have risen since opposition leader Alexei Navalny died in his Arctic prison in February.

Yashin — a former ally of assassinated opposition figure Boris Nemtsov — was imprisoned in late 2022 for having denounced “murders of civilians” in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

After a court hearing, Yashin’s lawyer Mikhail Biryukov told AFP that the 40-year-old was moved to a “PKT” prison cell, similar to one where Navalny was held.

Biryukov said Yashin now has “limited movement on the territory of the prison and limited parcels and visits.”

Food parcels are key to staying in good health in Russian prisons.

Biryukov said Yashin was earlier kept in a “barrack of around 40 to 60 people” in a prison in the western Smolensk region.

He now has “special conditions” in a harsh isolation cell.

Yashin appeared via videolink at a court hearing to protest being designated a “foreign agent,” a label used to silence dissent.

“This law was created to consolidate the power of Vladimir Putin,” he said.

Wearing a black prison uniform, he smiled and held on to the metal bars of a cell, footage showed.

His mother, Tatiana Yashina, was at the hearing and said she was “of course worried” about the new conditions.

“But we believe in him. That he will get through this,” she said.

Now that he has been moved to the harsher cell, she will only be allowed “short [visits], once or twice a year.”

Vladimir Kara-Murza, a dual Russian and U.K. national serving 25 years on treason charges, has also been moved to the PKT cell in his Siberian prison.

His exiled lawyer Vadim Prokhorov said on Facebook Wednesday that the prison administration had decided to place Kara-Murza there for “six months.”

He said the “formal reason” for the decision was that he “for a few seconds held his hand not behind his back.”

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more