Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been sentenced by a Moscow court to a three-and-a-half-year prison sentence for violating his parole. The suspended sentence imposed on Navalny in 2014 for fraud has been commuted to an unconditional sentence.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2017 that the conviction was politically motivated. Also, The United States, Britain and Germany urged Moscow to immediately free Navalny, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying Washington would coordinate closely with allies to hold Russia accountable.
Navalny's defence demanded the opposition leader's release. According to his lawyers, the charges are intended to "intimidate millions of people in the country".
The year of house arrest he has had as part of this case has been deducted from his sentence. The prosecutor had insisted on this in his closing argument. His lawyer has stated that Navalny must still serve two years and eight months.
After ongoing protests last weekend, supporters of Navalny wanted to protest at the courthouse in Moscow. Around the courthouse 311 people were arrested on Tuesday (2 February) amid heavy security measures.