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Russian Court Hands Out First Sentence Following March 26 Unsanctioned Protest

The protests on March 26 were among the largest Russia had seen in years.

A court in Moscow has sentenced a man who took part in an antigovernment protest on March 26 to eight months in a so-called colony settlement for attacking a police officer.

The Tver district court on May 18 found Yury Kuly guilty of causing bodily harm to a law-enforcement officer.

The March 26 rally, one of the largest protests in Russia in years, was not sanctioned by authorities.

A colony settlement is an open prison type of penitentiary, where convicts live close to an industrial facility or a farm where they work.

Kuly pleaded guilty and apologized to the officer, who filed the lawsuit.

Kuly was the first participant in the March 26 protests across Russia, who was convicted.

He and three other people -- Aleksandr Shpakov, Stanislav Zimovets, and Andrei Kosykh -- were arrested on suspicion of attacking the policeman at the rally.

Police detained more than 1,000 people in Moscow alone over the anticorruption rallies organized by opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, the biggest demonstrations against President Vladimir Putin's government since a wave of protests in 2011-12.

Based on reporting by Meduza and TASS