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Navalny Associate Sentenced For Artwork Theft

  • RFE/RL's Russian Service

Georgy Alburov was charged with stealing a picture that was painted on plywood and affixed to a fence in Vladimir, about 170 kilometers northeast of Moscow.

Georgy Alburov was charged with stealing a picture that was painted on plywood and affixed to a fence in Vladimir, about 170 kilometers northeast of Moscow.

An associate of Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny has been sentenced to 240 hours of community service after being convicted of stealing an artwork.

A court in the city of Vladimir found Georgy Alburov guilty of "premeditated theft" on April 14 and sentenced him the same day.

Alburov pleaded not guilty and said he will appeal the ruling, part of what Kremlin critics say is a campaign of pressure on Navalny and his allies.

In June, Alburov and another Navalny associate, Nikita Kulachenkov, were charged with stealing the picture, which was painted on plywood and affixed to a fence in Vladimir, about 170 kilometers northeast of Moscow.

Investigators found the picture in Navalny's home last year, and Navalny said it was a gift from friends.

Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin and a driving force behind street protests in 2011-2012, has received two suspended sentences on theft convictions.

He denies wrongdoing, saying the cases against him are the Kremlin's revenge for his opposition activities.

With reporting by Interfax and TASS
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