Factbox-Who are the other opposition activists jailed in Russia?

By Thomson Reuters Feb 16, 2024 | 12:23 PM

By Lucy Papachristou

LONDON (Reuters) – Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, died on Friday after collapsing at the penal colony where he was serving a long jail term, prison officials said. Following is a list of some other opposition activists jailed in Russia.


A longtime ally of Navalny and the former head of an opposition party, Yashin was sentenced in December 2022 to eight-and-a-half years in prison for statements he made on his YouTube channel about war crimes allegedly committed by Russian forces in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.

Russia criminalised “spreading false information” about the Russian armed forces shortly after it sent troops into Ukraine in February 2022.

In his closing words at his sentencing, Yashin, 40, named Putin as “the person responsible for this slaughter” and said “it is better to spend 10 years behind bars as an honest man than silently burning with shame for the blood that your government sheds.”


Vladimir Kara-Murza is an opposition politician and former aide to Boris Nemtsov, an opposition figure who was assassinated in central Moscow in 2015. He was sentenced in April 2023 to 25 years in prison on treason and other charges that he has denied, comparing the case against him to a Stalinist show trial.

Kara-Murza, 42, was transferred last month to a new Siberian penal colony and is being held in a strict isolation cell.

He suffers from a nerve disorder after surviving two attempts to poison him, and his wife Evgenia has voiced fears for his life in prison.


A prominent nationalist ex-militia commander, Girkin, also known as Igor Strelkov, was sentenced last month to four years for inciting extremism after he insulted Putin.

Girkin, 53, had publicly entertained ideas about running against Putin in a March presidential election, saying he could do a better job than Russia’s veteran leader. He denied the extremism charge and his legal team said it planned to appeal.

He was remanded in custody last July after setting up the “Club of Angry Patriots” to save Russia from what he said was the danger of systemic turmoil because of military failures.

Girkin helped Russia annex the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 before organising and commanding pro-Russian militias who wrested part of eastern Ukraine from Kyiv’s control.

He was handed a life sentence in absentia by a Dutch court in 2022 for murder in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014, which killed 298 passengers and crew. He denied wrongdoing at the time.


Chanysheva, Ostanin and Fadeyeva are all former employees of Navalny’s campaign or of his anti-corruption organisation (FBK).

Chanysheva, who ran the politician’s campaign in the Urals city of Ufa, was given a seven-and-a-half year sentence in June for “creating an extremist organisation”.

Ostanin had run Navalny’s local headquarters in the Siberian city of Barnaul and was sentenced to nine years in July for participating in an “extremist community”.

A former head of FBK in Siberia’s Tomsk region and a local lawmaker, Fadeyeva was sentenced to nine and a half years in prison in December for running an “extremist organisation.”

Navalny’s aides have called their prosecutions politically motivated.


Three lawyers for Navalny were detained in October on suspicion of belonging to an “extremist group” in a move his supporters cast at the time as an attempt to further isolate the jailed politician from the outside world.

The lawyers stand accused of using their access to Navalny to enable him to direct extremist activity from behind bars by passing material to his supporters, claims Navalny rejected as ridiculous.

Russia’s interior ministry this month added two additional lawyers for Navalny to its wanted list, Olga Mikhailova and Alexander Fedulov. Both are believed to be outside Russia.

(Reporting and writing by Lucy Papachristou; Editing by Frances Kerry)