Ilya Yashin

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Ilya Yashin
Илья Яшин
Yashin in 2021
Chairman of the Council of Deputies of Krasnoselsky district
In office
7 October 2017 – 27 July 2021
Member of the Council of Deputies of Krasnoselsky district
Assumed office
7 October 2017
Leader of PARNAS
In office
Personal details
Born (1983-06-29) 29 June 1983 (age 40)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
(now Russia)
Political partyYabloko (2000—2008)
PARNAS (2010–2016)
Independent (2008–2010, since 2016)
Other political
Solidarnost (since 2008)
Alma materInternational Independent Ecological-Politological University, graduate school of the National Research University – Higher School of Economics
WebsiteYashin's mayoral campaign

Ilya Valeryevich Yashin (Russian: Илья́ Вале́рьевич Я́шин; born 29 June 1983) is a Russian opposition politician who led the People's Freedom Party (PARNAS) from 2012 to 2016, and then its Moscow branch. He was also head of the Moscow municipal district of Krasnoselsky and former chairman of the Council of Deputies of the Krasnoselsky district from 2017 to 2021.[1]

Yashin co-founded the civic youth movement Oborona in 2005 and later the political movement Solidarnost in 2008, of which he is still one of the leaders. He was an active participant in the Dissenters' March and the 2011–2013 Russian protests. In 2012, he was elected to the Russian Opposition Coordination Council. Amidst an increase in government crackdowns on the opposition following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, some considered Yashin to have had the largest platform of any opposition politician that had not either left the country, been imprisoned, or been killed.[2][3][4][5] In June 2022, he was arrested, and later accused under the new war censorship laws of disseminating fake news about the Armed Forces. In December 2022, he was sentenced to 8+12 years in prison.[6]


Early life and education[edit]

Ilya Yashin was born in a Russian family in Moscow on 29 July 1983. He graduated from International Independent University of Environmental and Political Sciences, the Faculty of Political Science, in 2005.[7]

Political career[edit]

He served as the leader of the Yabloko party's youth wing since 2001 until 2008, organizing mass protests and speaking to the media about their causes. However, when he became an active member of Solidarnost in 2008, Yabloko expelled him for "causing political damage".[8][7]

Yashin at an opposition meeting with Boris Nemtsov, Vladimir Milov, Vladimir Ryzhkov and Mikhail Kasyanov on 9 October 2010

Yashin was running for Moscow parliament in 2005.[7]

Yashin is known for making passionate speeches at opposition rallies. He is an active participant in the Strategy-31 campaign for freedom of assembly. In 2005, he spoke against the Nashi movement, which supports President Vladimir Putin.[9]

On 31 December 2010, Yashin was arrested for demonstrating in Moscow at another rally for Strategy-31. He was taken to a police station and detained for fifteen days. He claims evidence was then fabricated against him by the police.[10] Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience, along with Boris Nemtsov and Konstantin Kosiakin.[11]

Following the alleged kidnapping and torture of opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev, from Kyiv, Ukraine, Yashin was arrested on 27 October 2012 along with Sergei Udaltsov and Alexei Navalny while attempting to join a Moscow protest on Razvozzhayev's behalf. The three were charged with violating public order, for which they could be fined up to 30,000 rubles (US$1,000) or given 50 hours of community service.[12]

On 23 February 2016 Yashin, despite harassment by police and hecklers, presented a report criticizing Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, labeling him a danger to Russian national security and called for his resignation. The report highlighted Kadyrov's encouragement of violence against opposition activists and federal law enforcement officials, his luxurious lifestyle and corruption, and the building of a personal army.[13]

Moscow municipal deputy[edit]

Alexei Navalny, his wife Yulia and Ilya Yashin at Moscow opposition rally on 12 June 2013
Boris Nemtsov and Ilya Yashin at a protest against Russia's annexation of Crimea on 15 March 2014
Yashin in a police car after being detained during the 2021 Russian protests

On 10 September 2017 Yashin was elected a municipal deputy of the Krasnoselsky district of Moscow.[14] The Solidarnost team won 7 out of 10 seats in this district (the United Russia won the other 3). On 25 September 2017 he took the office. On 7 October 2017 Ilya Yashin was elected a chairman of the council of deputies of Krasnoselsky municipal district of Moscow.

On 11 April 2018 Yashin announced his intention to run in the election for Moscow mayor's office and beat the incumbent Sergey Sobyanin.[15]

On 25 June 2021, he was barred from running in the upcoming legislative election after being considered an "extremist". He reported that he considered it was due to his support for Alexei Navalny.[16]

In March 2022, Yashin publicly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine.[17]

Arrest and imprisonment[edit]

On 4 March 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a bill introducing prison sentences of up to 15 years for those who publish "knowingly false information" about the Russian armed forces and their operations.[18]

On 27 June 2022, Ilya Yashin was detained in Moscow by local police. On 28 June, Yashin was sentenced to 15 days in detention for disobeying a police officer. Yashin called the case politically motivated and intended to suppress his political stance towards the war in Ukraine.[19]

On 12 July, Yashin was accused by the Investigative Committee of Russia of discrediting the Russian Armed Forces and his home was searched. On 13 July, a court ordered his pretrial detention;[20][21] Yashin was tried over a YouTube video released in April 2022 in which he discussed the discovery of murdered Ukrainian civilians in the suburban town of Bucha, near Kyiv.[22] State prosecutor requested nine years in prison for Yashin. Amnesty International and other organisations called on the government to release him immediately, regarding his case as part of repressions on war critics.[23]

On 9 December, a Moscow court sentenced Yashin to eight years and six months imprisonment for his statements about the circumstances of the killings in Bucha on charges of "spreading false information" about the armed forces.[24] His punishment was the harshest given under the new laws which criminalize spreading "false" information about the armed forces.[25] In his closing remarks to the court ahead of the verdict, Yashin said: "As if they will sew my mouth shut and I would be forbidden to speak forever. Everyone understands that this is the point. I am isolated from society because they want me to be silent. I promise as long as I’m alive I’ll never will be. My mission is to tell the truth. I will not give up the truth even behind bars. After all, quoting the classic: 'Lie is the religion of slaves.'"[6]

Yashin said about Russian President Vladimir Putin that "Strong leaders are calm and self-confident, and only weaklings seek to shut everyone up, burn out any dissent."[6] Before his sentencing, he urged Putin to "immediately stop this madness, recognise that the policy on Ukraine was wrong, pull back troops from its territory and switch to a diplomatic settlement of the conflict".[26] He further said addressing Putin: "You have brought terrible misfortune to the Ukrainian people, who will probably never forgive us."[22]

Protest outside the Russian Embassy in Berlin demanding the release of Russia's political prisoners, including Yashin, February 2024

In his closing speech, he said that "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."[27]

On 19 April 2023, Yashin lost his appeal to his 8+12 years sentence at the Moscow City Court.[28] In his speech before the court, Yashin called Putin a wanted war criminal and said that Putin's war censorship laws violate the 1993 Russian Constitution, which expressly prohibits censorship.[29]

Electoral history[edit]

2017 Moscow municipal elections (Krasnoselsky district)
Candidate Votes %
Ilya Yashin 919 37.24% Elected Green tickY
Total 2470 22.28%
Source: [30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ilya Yashin Валерьевич". Archived from the original on 19 January 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Moscow today completed the process of nomination of candidates for the municipal elections". NPR. Retrieved 26 July 2017.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Ilya Yashin (20 July 2017). "is Now officially: the electoral Commission has just registered all 10 of the representatives of the Solidarity candidates Krasnoselsky district". @IlyaYashin. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  4. ^ "Yashin was a candidate in the municipal elections | News | News | July 20, 2017". Izvestia (in Russian). 20 July 2017. Archived from the original on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  5. ^ "the candidate of the Krasnoselsky district in the municipal elections Yashin Ilya V." Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  6. ^ a b c "Kremlin critic Ilya Yashin jailed for eight and a half years, in latest blow to what's left of Russian opposition". CNN. 9 December 2022. Retrieved 9 December 2022.
  7. ^ a b c "Илья Яшин. Биографическая справка". RIA (in Russian). 14 September 2010. Retrieved 14 July 2022.
  8. ^ Илья Яшин исключен из партии «ЯБЛОКО» 19 December 2011 Archived April 7, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Leonid Ragozin (2 March 2005). "Russian youth on political barricades". BBC News. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  10. ^ Happy New Year Russian Style? Archived 16 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Open Democracy
  11. ^ "Russian activists jailed over freedom of assembly protest". Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  12. ^ Maria Tsvetkova and Gleb Bryanski (27 October 2012). "Russia activists detained after opposition council meets". Reuters. Archived from the original on 27 October 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  13. ^ Coalson, Tom Balmforth and Robert (23 February 2016). "Despite Harassment, Russian Opposition Leader Presents Scathing Kadyrov Report". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  14. ^ "Оппозиционер Илья Яшин заявил о победе на выборах в Москве". EG.RU (in Russian). Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Илья Яшин о своем участии в выборах мэра Москвы". Facebook page (in Russian). Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Russia opposition figure says election bid blocked over Navalny support". Reuters. 25 June 2021. Retrieved 25 June 2021.
  17. ^ "Moscow politician tells Russian officials to stick the law censoring the war in Ukraine 'up their ass'". 7 March 2022. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  18. ^ "Putin Signs Law Introducing Jail Terms for 'Fake News' on Army". Moscow Times. 4 March 2022. Archived from the original on 14 March 2022.
  19. ^ "Russian court jails opposition politician Ilya Yashin for 15 days". Al Jazeera. 28 June 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  20. ^ "На Илью Яшина возбудили уголовное дело о "дискредитации ВС РФ"". Moskovskiy Komsomolets (in Russian). 12 July 2022. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  21. ^ Halpert, Madeline (13 July 2022). "Russia Detains Activist Ilya Yashin For Spreading 'Fake Information'—Here's Who Else The Kremlin Has Targeted". Forbes. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  22. ^ a b "Russia: Putin critic gets 8 years in jail for 'false information'". Al Jazeera. 9 December 2022.
  23. ^ "Russia: Authorities must drop case against Ilya Yashin – latest victim of clampdown on war critics". Amnesty International. 13 July 2022. Retrieved 13 July 2022.
  24. ^ Hopkins, V. (9 December 2022), "Russia Finds a War Critic Guilty of 'Spreading False Information'", New York Times, retrieved 10 December 2022
  25. ^ "Kremlin Critic Yashin Given 8.5 Years in Jail for Bucha Massacre Claims". The Moscow Times. 9 December 2022.
  26. ^ "Moscow court rejects Kremlin critic's appeal of prison term". Al Jazeera. 19 April 2023.
  27. ^ "Russian opposition politician Ilya Yashin jailed for eight years for spreading 'fake news' on Ukraine war". Sky News. 9 December 2022.
  28. ^ AP (19 April 2023). "Putin critic Ilya Yashin loses his appeal against eight-and-a-half year jail sentence". Euronews. Retrieved 24 April 2023.
  29. ^ "Ilya Yashin, Russian opposition figure: 'It is quite possible that Putin will be replacing me in prison'". Le Monde. 19 April 2023.
  30. ^ Результаты выборов по одномандатному избирательному округу


  • Mickiewicz E. No Illusions: The Voices of Russia's Future Leaders. — Oxford University Press, 2014. — P. 198. — 288 p. — ISBN 9780199977857. — ISBN 0199977852.
  • Putin's Opponents: Enemies of the People / The Associated Press. — Mango Media, 2015. — 198 p. — ISBN 9781633531826. — ISBN 1633531821.
  • Bennetts M. I'm Going to Ruin Their Lives: Inside Putin's War on Russia's Opposition. — Oneworld Publications, 2016. — P. 99–101, 105, 149. — 320 p. — ISBN 9781780744322. — ISBN 1780744323.
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