Putin Critic Sentenced to 5 Years

Russia’s most prominent opposition leader was convicted of embezzlement Thursday and sentenced to five years at a penal colony. Alexei Nalvany, a 37-year-old lawyer turned anti-corruption blogger, was one of the most prominent dissidents to be tried in Russia since the end of the Soviet Union. The charges—stealing $480,000 from a state-owned timber company—were typical of those fabricated by Putin’s regime in order to silence critics, other opposition figures said. Nalvany had called Putin’s United Russia a “party of crooks and thieves,” a phrase that became popular in anti-Putin protests in late 2011.