Investigating sexual violence as war crimes — "He Came Back"
Our War Crimes Investigations Unit released its new documentary, “He Came Back”. The film is about two cases of sexual violence committed by Russian soldiers during the occupation of Kherson and Kyiv oblasts in 2022 — and the process of identifying the offenders. Watch it on our YouTube channel.
Skip to content
Edit post

Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza sentenced to 25 years in prison

by Kate Tsurkan April 17, 2023 3:31 PM 4 min read
Russian opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza sits on a bench inside a defendants' cage during a hearing at the Basmanny court in Moscow on October 10, 2022. (Photo: NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA / AFP via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Russian journalist and opposition figure Vladimir Kara-Murza has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for condemning Russia's all-out war in Ukraine, the BBC reported on April 17.

The judge presiding over the trial said that Kara-Murza will be sent to a "strict regime correctional colony" to serve his jail sentence and fined 400,000 roubles ($5,000), the BBC wrote.

Kara-Murza was arrested in Russia on April 11, 2022, and charged with "treason," "spreading false information" on the Russian military, and belonging to an "undesirable" foreign organization.

“Today’s outrageously harsh court decision clearly demonstrates yet again the political misuse of judiciary in order to pressure activists, human rights defenders and any voices opposing Russia’s illegitimate war of aggression against Ukraine,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

Where is Russia’s anti-war opposition?
For many Ukrainians, watching queues of conscription-age Russians fleeing the specter of mobilization has proven bittersweet. Each body that crosses the border into Kazakhstan, Armenia, or Georgia is one less soldier to occupy Ukrainian soil. But why have the same crowds failed to appear at anti-wa…

Latvian Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs condemned the "harsh and unjust sentence" against Kara-Murza and announced that he had imposed sanctions against 10 Russian individuals "complicit in this sham case," calling on the European Union to impose additional sanctions.

Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, called the April 17 verdict a "travesty of justice," adding that "Russian authorities should immediately vacate the verdict and unconditionally free him."

Human Rights Watch also said the charges against Kara-Murza were "unfounded and constitute blatant persecution for his entirely peaceful exercise of freedom of expression."

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk called Kara-Murza's 25-year sentence a "blow to the rule of law and civic space," adding that "No one should be deprived of their liberty for exercising their human rights. I call on authorities to release him without delay."

Evgenia Kara-Murza, the wife of the Russian opposition leader, wrote, "A quarter of a century is an 'A+' for your courage, consistency, and honesty in your years-long work. I am infinitely proud of you, my love, and I’m always by your side."

In a statement to the court last week, Kara-Murza said, "Not only do I not repent of any of this, I'm proud of it. I'm proud of the fact that Boris Nemtsov brought me into politics and I hope he isn't ashamed of me. I stand by every word I've ever uttered and by every word this court accuses me of saying," as quoted by the Dutch-owned independent Russian media outlet the Moscow Times.

Boris Nemtsov, Kara-Murza's former colleague, was an opposition politician shot dead by the Kremlin in 2015.

Kara-Murza, who is also a British citizen, went on to liken his trial to that of the show trials in the 1930s during the Stalinist purges and that he only regretted the failure on his part of convincing people of the threat Russian President Vladimir Putin posed.

In 2015 and 2017, Kara-Murza claimed that he was poisoned by Russian authorities in retaliation for his efforts to persuade Western nations to impose more economic sanctions on Russia.

Kara-Murza penned an op-ed for the Washington Post in 2021, recounting his experience of confronting the Russian intelligence officers allegedly involved in the poisoning, after an investigation conducted by Bellingcat, the Insider, and Der Spiegel had identified them.

According to Kara-Murza, doctors informed his wife both times that he had a five percent chance to survive the poisonings. The journalistic investigation found that Russian intelligence officers had been following Kara-Murza before the alleged poisonings took place.

None of the intelligence officers would speak to Kara-Murza, but thanks to the investigation, he knew their faces and names.

"They have ordinary faces, the same kind that I see every day on the streets of Moscow. What do these men discuss at the family dinner table? How many people they’ve poisoned today?" Kara-Murza wrote.

Can Russia afford to commit to a years-long war?
When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an all-out war against Ukraine, U.S. intelligence claimed that Russian forces planned to sweep Kyiv within days. More than 13 months on, Ukraine’s defenses still stand firm. But Ukrainians are now faced with a different threat – the Kremlin appears to…
Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

12:54 AM

Germany blocks sanctions on Russian gas.

European Union countries failed to approve a new sanctions package targeting the Russian gas industry after German authorities intervened to block the deal at the last minute.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
4:11 PM

Putin names ceasefire demands, including Kyiv's complete withdrawal from four Ukrainian regions.

Speaking on the eve of the global peace summit in Switzerland on June 15-16, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukrainian troops must leave Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, and Kyiv must abandon any ambition to join NATO. Russia doesn't aim for peace, but for the continuation of the war, the occupation of Ukraine, and the destruction of Ukrainian people, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement.
12:36 PM

Ukraine retrieves bodies of 254 fallen soldiers.

The Geneva Conventions dictate that people who lost their lives during war are entitled to a dignified burial. Over 2,400 fallen soldiers have been repatriated to Ukraine in the last two years.

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
* indicates required


* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.