25 years in prison for Kremlin critic Kara-Murza

Russian historian and opposition politician Vladimir Kara-Murza has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for treason and other offences. Kara-Murza, who has allegedly been the target of two poisoning attacks and was an associate of Boris Nemtzov, who was shot dead in 2015, co-founded an anti-war committee at the end of February 2022, for which he was then arrested and classified as a foreign agent.

La Stampa (IT) /

Ambassador of the opposition

La Stampa weighs in:

“The Kara-Murza case marks a new milestone of repression in Russia. He is the first political prisoner to be sentenced for ‘treason against the state’. The journalist and historian’s only crime is to have spoken out in public: in universities and parliaments, before politicians and MPs, on television and on YouTube. A Cambridge graduate, Kara-Murza had become the Russian opposition’s ambassador to international institutions, especially in the US: he is not a tribune of the people, not a charismatic face of protest like Alexey Navalny, but he was crucial when it came to drawing up the sanctions against the Russian regime.”

Anna Zafesova
Echo (RU) /

Harsher than the Soviet Union

In a Facebook post republished by Echo, court reporter Zoya Svetova criticises the fact that no one except Kara-Murza’s mother was allowed into the courtroom for the sentencing:

“This is all also part of the revenge against Volodya Kara-Murza. So that he doesn’t see any friends and familiar faces in the courtroom, so that he doesn’t feel this wave of support that gives the will to persevere. ... Kara-Murza, a historian who has studied and written about the history of the dissident movement, finds himself in a situation he has read and heard a lot about. But the reality turned out to be worse. ... Soviet dissidents were not sentenced to such long terms.”

Zoya Svetova
Kirill Rogov (RU) /

It’s the court that has committed a crime

The sentence against Kara-Murza violates Russian law, journalist Kirill Rogov explains on Facebook:

“What happened today constitutes a specific crime, committed by specific people who know full well that they committed a crime under section 303.3 of the Russian Criminal Code (falsifying evidence in criminal cases involving serious and grave crimes) and section 305.2 (knowingly passing an unjust verdict in a criminal case resulting in an unlawful prison sentence). And there can be no excuses that the times and the laws demanded it and we were under pressure. No, it is a criminal offence committed by persons who bear full responsibility for their acts.”

Kirill Rogov