Wed, 24 Jul 2019

NOVBOSIBIRSK, Russia -- A court in the Russian city of Novosibirsk has convicted three members of an outlawed nationalist opposition group of plotting mass unrest in a case linked to rallies ahead of the centennial of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution.

After pronouncing the verdicts on April 24, the Novosibirsk Regional Court sentenced former police officer Aleksandr Komarov to three years in prison and handed a 2 1/2-year suspended sentence to Anatoly Plotnikov, meaning he will not be imprisoned.

A third defendant, Vyacheslav Dobrynin, was ordered to be treated in a psychiatric clinic.

Hundreds of members of the Artpodgotovka (Artillery Bombardment) movement were detained on November 5, 2017, at demonstrations in Moscow and other Russian cities ahead of the 100th anniversary of the revolution.

Vyacheslav Maltsev, an outspoken Kremlin critic and leader of the group, said at the time that the day would mark the start of a 'new revolution' to topple President Vladimir Putin's government.

Maltsev, who has described himself as a nationalist and an anarchist, told RFE/RL in November 2018 that he had received political asylum in France.

In May 2017, Maltsev was charged in absentia with publicly calling for extremist activities, and Artpodgotovka was banned in October 2017 by court order.

With reporting by Kommersant

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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