Ilya Yashin: Prominent opposition figure on trial for criticism of Russian military

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By Euronews  with AP
Ilya Yashin served as a municipal deputy of the Krasnoselsky district in Moscow.
Ilya Yashin served as a municipal deputy of the Krasnoselsky district in Moscow.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

Russian opposition figure Ilya Yashin has gone on trial in Moscow over his criticism of the war in Ukraine.

Yashin is charged with deliberately spreading "fake news" about Russia's military or its entities abroad, under a recent law.

The former politician -- who served as a municipal deputy of the Krasnoselsky district -- faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Yashin is one of the few Kremlin critics to have remained in the country amid an intensifying crackdown on dissent.

He was arrested in July, after discussing the deaths of Ukrainian civilians in the town of Bucha on a YouTube live stream video.

The prominent opposition figure says the charges against him are politically motivated.

At the start of his trial at Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court, Yashin argued that his case has been fabricated and “has all the markings of illegal political persecution.

He claimed that he had cited Russian official sources during the YouTube live stream, and had shared Ukrainian statements to give his audience an objective view.

Yashin is also known in Russia for his ties to jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, as well as murdered Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov.