Opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza has been sentenced to 25 years in jail in Russia for charges linked to his criticism of the war in Ukraine.
He was found guilty of treason, spreading “false” information about the Russian army and being affiliated with an “undesirable organisation”.
The Russian-British former journalist and politician is the latest of several Putin opponents to have been arrested or forced to flee Russia.
He has denied all of the charges.
Mr Kara-Murza, 41, has spent years speaking out against Russian President Vladimir Putin and, alongside the war in Ukraine, has also been critical of the government’s crackdown on dissent.
Last week, he said in a statement that he stood by “every word that I have said… Not only do I not repent any of this, I am proud of it.”
“I know that the day will come when the darkness engulfing our country will clear,” he added in remarks posted online. “Our society will open its eyes and shudder when it realises what crimes were committed in its name.”
Mr Kara-Murza’s 25-year sentence, which has been widely condemned, was the maximum sought by prosecutors and is the longest sentence an opposition figure has received since the war in Ukraine began.
It took only minutes for the judge to rule on his case – sometimes the delivery of verdicts and announcing sentencing can take a long time in Russian courts.
The judge said Mr Kara-Murza would serve his time in a “strict regime correctional colony” and that he would be fined 400,000 roubles ($4,900; £4,000).
The tough sentence is a sign that in today’s Russia the authorities are not only determined to silence critics but also to neutralise anything or anyone they believe represents a threat to the political system. (BBC)