Father Of Navalny Associate Zhdanov Jailed For Parole Violation

The father of Ivan Zhdanov, a close associate of jailed opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, has been sent to prison for three years for what a court called the violation of restrictions imposed on him after he was handed a suspended prison sentence in December in a corruption case that critics say is politically motivated.

Ivan Zhdanov wrote on Twitter on February 17 that a court in the Arctic city of Naryan-Mar ruled that his father be sent to a penal colony to serve his three-year sentence because of the violations.

Yury Zhdanov, 67, was detained last month for illegally leaving Naryan-Mar for the region of Nizhny Novgorod in December without court permission.

His lawyer, Vladimir Voronin, said at the time that his client was not aware he was barred from leaving Naryan-Mar because the case had yet to be settled.

At the time of his travels, prosecutors were appealing Zhdanov's sentence and the court was still considering the motion.

A court in Naryan-Mar originally handed Zhdanov a three-year suspended sentence on December 19 on charges of fraud and forgery over an alleged recommendation he made to the town's administration to provide a local woman with a subsidized apartment. It later turned out that the woman's family had previously received housing allocations.

Zhdanov has rejected the charges. The apartment was later returned to municipal ownership in accordance with a court decision and no one among those who made the decision was held responsible.

Prosecutors had appealed the sentence, saying it was "mild," and demanding Zhdanov serve the three years behind bars.

Ivan Zhdanov, the former chief of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), has accused Russia's presidential administration of trying to pressure him by arresting his father.

Ivan Zhdanov left the country last year and currently lives abroad.

Navalny's FBK was known for publishing investigative reports about corruption among Russia's top officials, including President Vladimir Putin.

Last year, FBK and other groups associated with Navalny were labeled as "extremist" and banned in Russia.