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Russia Judge Jails Three More Activists In 'Bolotnaya' Case

A Moscow judge has sentenced three Russians to prison over violence at a 2012 protest in Moscow against President Vladimir Putin.

The court on August 18 ordered Ilya Gushchin jailed for two and a half years and Alexander Margolin and Alexei Gaskarov to three and a half years each on charges of rioting.

A fourth defendant, Yelena Kokhtareva, received a suspended sentence.

The four were the latest in a series of Russian activists tried over violence at a protest on the eve of Putin's May 2012 inauguration.

Prominent opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov was sentenced in July to four and a half years.

Kremlin opponents say the trials in the "Bolotnaya Case" are part of a campaign to stifle dissent.

They contend that protesters were provoked and that the state's claims of violence are exaggerated.

With reporting by Reuters and RIA