Putin opponent Vladimir Kara-Murza sentenced to 25 years in jail in Russia for treason

17 April 2023, 11:08 | Updated: 17 April 2023, 13:11

Vladimir Kara-Murza has been jailed for 25 years
Vladimir Kara-Murza has been jailed for 25 years. Picture: Getty

By Asher McShane

A prominent opponent of Vladimir Putin has been sentenced to 25 years in a Russian jail for being critical of the war in Ukraine.

Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr, a Russian-British former journalist and prominent Putin opposition activist who twice survived poisonings he blamed on the Kremlin, has been behind bars since his arrest a year ago.

He denied the charges and has been critical of his trial - comparing proceedings against him to the show trials during the rule of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

His 25-year sentence was highest term sought by prosecutors.

It is the longest sentence yet handed to an opposition figure critical of Russia's actions in Ukraine

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The charges against Kara-Murza stem from his March 15 speech to the Arizona House of Representatives in which he denounced Russia's military action in Ukraine and accused them of using cluster bombs in residential areas and “bombing maternity hospitals and schools.”

Russia adopted a law criminalising spreading "false information" about its military shortly after it sent troops into Ukraine on February 24 2022.

Authorities have used the law to stifle criticism of what the Kremlin calls "a special military operation".