MOSCOW, July 29 (RAPSI, Diana Gutsul) – Defense of opposition activist Leonid Razvozzhayev who was convicted for organizing riots in May 2012 appealed the verdict, attorney Dmitry Agranovsky told RAPSI on Tuesday.

On July 24, the Moscow City Court sentenced Left Front leader Sergei Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev to 4.5 years each.  On July 25, Udaltsov declared a hunger strike.

According to prosecutors, Udaltsov and Razvozzhayev organized riots on Bolotnaya Square in May 2012 and planned to hold similar rallies in other Russia’s regions.

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.