Alexander Tarasenkov / TASS / Interpress
A protester arrested at Alexei
Navalny's anti-corruption rally in Moscow on March 26 has been
sentenced to eight months in prison.
Yuri Kuliy is the first demonstrator to
face the court after the protest, which saw more than 1,000 people
detained by police in Moscow alone.
The demonstration, which was led by
opposition presidential hopeful Alexei Navalny, had not been given
official permission to take place.
Kuliy, a Moscow-based actor, pleaded
guilty to assaulting a member of Russia's national guard.
He told Russia's Ekho Moskvy radio
station that he had pleaded guilty in hopes of receiving a suspended
Prosecutors had originally asked the
judge for a two-year jail term.
Kuliy's lawyer, Alexei Liptser,
maintains that the actor had grabbed the officer's hand in a bid to
protect an elderly man from the riot police.
Navalny called for mass
demonstrations across Russia in March after accusing Prime Minister
Dmitry Medvedev of heading a multi-billion-dollar corruption scheme.
He said that the protest march would
demand "answers to justified questions" on the politician's
The Kremlin denied the claims, instead alleging that Navalny had offered to pay the thousands of students and young people who attended the march.