(Moscow) The Russian authorities have opened a “criminal investigation” against Ilya Yachine, one of the last opposition figures not to be in exile or sentenced to a long prison term, his lawyer announced on Tuesday.
The Russian Investigative Committee, in charge of the main investigations, opened this investigation against the opponent for “spreading false information” about the Russian army, declared on Facebook his lawyer, Vadim Prokhorov, indicating that he had “received a call from the inspector “.
“A search begins at his home. I’m going there,” he added.
Ilia Iachine, 39, was sentenced on June 28 to 15 days in detention for “disobedience to the police”, a charge he considered trumped up, and was therefore still in prison on Tuesday.
Mr Iachine had said earlier on Tuesday on social media that he was supposed to be released shortly after 1am on Wednesday.
“Maybe they’ll get me out.” Maybe not,” he wrote.
“Spreading false information” about the Russian military is a new offense punishable by 15 years in prison, introduced after the start of the conflict in Ukraine.
Since the beginning of the offensive, on February 24, the Russian authorities have carried out a fierce repression against the few critics of the conflict, pushing many of them into exile, others being imprisoned or prosecuted.
A well-known face of the opposition to President Vladimir Putin, Ilia Yachin had chosen to stay, publicly condemning the intervention in Ukraine.
“The real reasons for my arrest are obviously political. I am an opponent, a deputy [municipal] independent, a critic of President Putin and an opponent of the war in Ukraine”, he declared during his arrest at the end of June.
Mr. Yachine has been an active activist in the liberal opposition in Russia since the 2000s and took part in the great mobilization movement against Vladimir Putin in 2011-2012.
He is an ally of anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, the number one opponent of Vladimir Putin, who is serving a nine-year prison sentence in a harsh regime colony north of Moscow.