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Russia jails activist for 2.5 years over anti-Putin protest

A Moscow court on Thursday jailed a prominent Russian activist for two-and-a-half years over his involvement in an opposition protest last year on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a third Kremlin term.

Konstantin Lebedev, an aide to the leader of the radical Left Front Sergei Udaltsov, was convicted of organising a mass riot and jailed by the Moscow city court, Russian news agencies reported.

Over a dozen other activists are still detained and awaiting trial over the May 6 protest in central Moscow, in a criminal case which campaigners have slammed as a throwback to Soviet times.

Lebedev is only the second defendant to be convicted and jailed in the case. The first, a gym owner named Maxim Luzyanin, was jailed for four-and-a-half-years in November 2012.