Campaign diary

Protester gets two-year sentence



Alexei Politikov at his sentencing. Photo by Dmitri Borko/

By Sarah Hurst

Opposition activist Alexei Politikov was sentenced to two years in prison today for allegedly injuring police captain Alexander Shvetsov during the anti-corruption rally in Moscow on March 26. His supporters in court shouted “Shame!” when the sentence was read. Politikov, 45, received no leniency despite pleading guilty and his lawyer telling the judge that his health would be in danger as he suffers from kidney stone disease.

“Above all I want to return to my wife and children,” Politikov had told the court. “The action I committed was accidental in nature, and I deeply regret it, it was an impulsive step. I am remorseful about my action and ask Alexander Shvetsov for forgiveness,” he added.

Politikov was a member of the Artpodgotovka nationalist opposition group led by Vyacheslav Maltsev, who recently fled Russia. He was arrested on June 10 at a house belonging to Maltsev a few miles outside Moscow. Politikov initially denied the charge against him, but later decided to plead guilty. He is one of many people going to prison for multiple years for taking part in rallies led by Alexei Navalny.

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