MOSCOW, February 28 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian nationalist activist walked free from a St. Petersburg court on Thursday after he was given a two and a half year suspended sentence after spending over a year behind bars awaiting trial.
Maxim Kalinichenko was arrested on December 10, 2011 during a protest in St. Petersburg against alleged vote fraud in favor of the ruling United Russia party at that month’s parliamentary polls.
Police alleged he had urged fellow protesters to attack police. Kalinichenko denied the charges.
Thursday’s ruling was attended by a number of nationalist activists, who cheered when the sentence was read.
Russia’s nationalist movement has turned increasingly against President Vladimir Putin in recent years, with speakers at a march in central Moscow late last year slamming the country’s leader over the Kremlin’s ethnic minorities policies.