Opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been sentenced to nine years in a strict regime colony and a fine of 1.2 million rubles on charges of contempt of court and donation fraud.
Prosecutors sought 13 years of strict regime colony for Navalny.
The opposition politician was found guilty of insulting Judge Vera Akimova in last year's trial in the case of libel against a WWII veteran. Navalny was fined 850,000 rubles in the case.
The court also found Navalny guilty of using part of donations collected for his headquarters and the Anti-Corruption Foundation (recognized as extremist organizations) for personal purposes.
More than 15 people were interrogated at court. One of them was Fyodor Gorozhanko, a former employee of the Navalny Foundation. He appeared at court as a witness. Gorozhanko had had a conflicting situation with Navalny's associates in the past. However, contrary to expectations, Gorozhanko called the case absurd, spoke about the pressure and threats from investigators, as well as requirements to learn testimony by heart. Gorozhanko then announced that he had left Russia.
Up to 16,000 military men of the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been entrapped near the towns of Severodonetsk and Lysichansk