Campaign diary

Navalny aides jailed for creating negative image of Putin

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Kira Yarmysh and Ruslan Shaveddinov being questioned by police at Sheremetyevo airport yesterday

by Sarah Hurst

Alexei Navalny’s press secretaries Ruslan Shaveddinov and Kira Yarmysh were sentenced to eight days and five days in prison respectively for hosting coverage of Sunday’s protests on YouTube and allegedly tweeting about them from accounts belonging to Navalny’s campaign. Shaveddinov and Yarmysh broadcast all day from a secret studio outside Russia after police invaded his Moscow studio and detained the two presenters there. They themselves were detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport yesterday on their return to Russia, and held overnight at the police station ahead of their trials.

The judge at the trials ignored any semblance of observance of the law, which should not be applicable to actions that occurred outside Russia. In an act of defiance of the absurdity of his trial, a few minutes before the verdict Shaveddinov tweeted Navalny’s video about the protests. The judge in his case said that his guilt had been “proven” and that he had “formed a negative image of one of the candidates for the post of president.” After his sentencing Shaveddinov tweeted, “I call on you to continue to form a negative image of one of the candidates for the post of president.” Yarmysh tweeted something similar after her sentencing.

Meanwhile, Navalny’s campaign coordinator in St. Petersburg, Denis Mikhailov, was sentenced to 30 days in prison today. He was detained on Sunday at about 3 pm and held for several hours at a police station. In Lipetsk an employee of Navalny’s local campaign headquarters, Vladislav Zlobin, was jailed for 20 days. The judge ignored the fact that Zlobin has diabetes. Campaign coordinator Ilya Danilov was due to go on trial alongside Zlobin, but his trial was postponed for health reasons. In Kaliningrad a volunteer with the Navalny campaign, Vladimir Nemanov, was jailed for 10 days. In Saransk two activists with Navalny’s campaign were jailed for a day each and four others were fined.

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