Kremlin critic Ilya Yashin smuggles letter out of jail
«Russia is increasingly isolated»
The Russian Ilya Yashin is behind bars. Among other things, because he publicly disapproved of the Butscha massacre in the Ukraine war. Yashin sends a letter to the media from prison.
Published: 16 minutes ago
Kremlin critic Ilya Yashin in court in Moscow last December.
Kremlin critic Ilya Yashin (39) has to go to a prison camp for eight and a half years. This is because he is said to have spread “false information about the Russian army”, as the Russian authorities announced in early December.
Against the background of the Ukraine war, he posted on YouTube last April: “It’s a purely apocalyptic scene, like in horror films.” And he meant the massacre that took place in the Ukrainian city of Bucha, in which around 400 people died. Yashin: “Bodies of civilians lying on the street, mass graves with civilians who were quickly covered with sand: we have all seen this horrific picture of the city streets now.”
“Putin has shown weakness”
Yashin has been in jail since the end of June. Nevertheless, he apparently managed to smuggle a letter out of prison, as reported by “Bild”.
“With the verdict against me, the state authorities confirm that my criticism was very painful,” writes Yashin. Far beyond that, Russian President Vladimir Putin (70) has shown weakness. “A strong leader who has the people on their side is not afraid of criticism and competition.”
He was surprised that his views had found sympathy among ordinary security forces. The seven handwritten pages continue: “There will be no happy ending to this war.” This has already claimed tens of thousands of lives, wiped out entire cities and turned 14 million Ukrainians into refugees. “The war will leave a painful wound that will bleed for years to come.”
“There will be a ceasefire”
However: “At some point, it seems, the two sides will sit down at the negotiating table, the troops will stop at the contact line and a ceasefire agreement will be concluded.” Yashin assumes that Russia will face “increasing isolation” and a “deep socio-political crisis”.
“The thought of the lost years of my life worries me,” says Yashin. The time that slips through his fingers is the worst thing you can experience behind bars. “I could have spent this time with loved ones, traveling, with a happy life.”
Since the war of aggression began in February, the Russian authorities have stepped up their crackdown on government critics. Many were exiled or imprisoned. The law on “spreading false information about the army” criminalizes criticism of Russia’s offensive in Ukraine. (twa)