MOSCOW, July 25 (RAPSI) - Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov sentenced to 4.5 years in prison for organizing riots in May 2012 declared a hunger strike, Federal Penitentiary Service spokesperson Sergey Tsygankov told RIA Novosti.
According to prosecutors, Udaltsov has organized riots and used violence against police during a rally. In October 2012, he was ordered not to leave the city. In February 2013, he was placed under house arrest, as he allegedly violated the former ruling. He has remained under house arrest. On Thursday, he was convicted and placed in detention.
Udaltsov and activist Leonid Razvozzhayev along with other opposition figures were involved in the case concerning the planning of mass riots, which was initiated after the "Anatomy of Protest 2" film was shown on the NTV broadcasting network. The film claimed that the opposition was organizing a coup using funds from abroad and showed Udaltsov and his companions allegedly talking with Georgian politician Givi Targamadze, who at the time headed Georgia's Parliamentary Defense and Security Committee, and is said to have been involved in planning the "color" revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine, as well as the mass riots in Belarus.
On February 24, Moscow’s Zamoskvoretsky District Court sentenced eight activists to prison terms of three to four years in prison for participation in the riots. On June 20, the sentence of the two accused was mitigated by the Moscow City for several months.
Ten suspects were pardoned pursuant to a broad amnesty spearheaded by Russian President Vladimir Putin in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Russian constitution at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014.