Russian anti-war sociologist jailed for five years over Crimean bridge posts

A Russian court of appeals has sentenced prominent anti-war sociologist and Marxist theorist Boris Kagarlitsky to five years in prison.

The court also decided to take Kagarlitsky into custody in the courtroom and keep him in a pre-trial detention centre until he begins serving his sentence.

The Security Service opened a criminal case against Kagarlitsky for an online post about the 2022 Crimean Bridge explosion, a major event in the early phase of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Since then, he has been in pre-trial detention.

He is accused of justifying terrorism and denies all the charges.

Opposition parties merge against Kremlin

While openly opposing the war in Ukraine remains dangerous in Russia, two liberal opposition parties said on Saturday that they are merging in light of a wave of recent anti-Kremlin protests.

The People’s Freedom Party, also known as Parnas, united with Russia’s Republican Party, and said they would push the Kremlin to free political prisoners and hold parliamentary and presidential elections by 2013.

Marginalised and fractured after Vladimir Putin’s 12 years in power, Russia’s liberals found themselves estranged from massive rallies that drew tens of thousands of Russians in recent months.

On Saturday, police detained 10 opposition activists who rallied outside the Moscow headquarters of Russia’s top investigative agency, said Alexander Averin, of the banned National Bolshevik party.

They were part of the group of some 100 activist protesting the alleged death threat the top agency official made against investigative journalist from the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

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