Russian law enforcement officers block a road as protesters march during a rally in support of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny in St. Petersburg on January 23.
A court in St. Petersburg has sentenced a man to 4 1/2 years in prison for what prosecutors say was an attack on two police officers during an unsanctioned rally in January to support jailed opposition politician Aleksei Navalny.
The October district court on August 5 found Nikolai Devyaty guilty of punching two police officers during a pro-Navalny rally on January 23. The court also ordered Devyaty to pay a 150,000-ruble (roughly $2,000) fine.
The united press service of St. Petersburg’s courts said on Telegram that Devyaty had pleaded guilty.
Russian authorities have tried a number of protesters in a number of dubious cases of such "attacks."
Several individuals have received prison terms or suspended sentences in recent months for allegedly attacking police during the nationwide demonstrations held in January against Navalny’s arrest.
Navalny was detained at a Moscow airport on January 17 upon his arrival from Germany, where he was recovering from a poison attack by what several European laboratories concluded was a military-grade chemical nerve agent in Siberia in August.
Navalny has insisted that his poisoning was ordered directly by Russian President Vladimir Putin, which the Kremlin has denied.
More than 10,000 supporters of Navalny were detained across Russia during and after the January rallies.
Many of those detained were either fined or given several-day jail terms.
At least 90 were charged with criminal misdeeds, and several have been fired by their employers.
With reporting by Fontanka and Mediazona