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Russian Protester Jailed For 18 Months Over March 26 Rally

Russian riot police detain a demonstrator during an opposition rally in central Moscow on March 26.

A court in Moscow has sentenced a man who took part in an antigovernment protest on March 26 to 18 months in prison after convicting him of attacking a police officer.

Aleksandr Shpakov, who was convicted on May 24, is the second person to be sentenced in connection with one of the largest protests in Russia in years.

Protesters took to the streets in about 100 cities nationwide for anticorruption demonstrations whose size and scope surprised organizers and appear to have rattled President Vladimir Putin's government.

Police detained more than 1,000 people in Moscow alone, including organizer Aleksei Navalny, an opposition politician and anticorruption activist who is seeking to run in the March 2018 presidential election.

Shpakov and three other men -- Yury Kuly, Stanislav Zimovets, and Andrei Kosykh -- were arrested on suspicion of attacking a policeman at the Moscow rally.

On May 18, Kuly was found guilty of causing bodily harm to a police officer and sentenced to eight months in a so-called colony settlement.

Based on reporting by Meduza, Interfax, and TASS