A Moscow court has upheld a nine-year prison term for opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who is already behind bars for a previous conviction he and his supporters have called politically motivated.

Navalny took part in the Tuesday hearing via a video link from a prison in the Vladimir region.

The Kremlin critic used his final statement in court to condemn the Russian authorities for launching the ongoing unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and reiterated his previous statements that all of the charges against him are politically motivated.

Navalny was handed the sentence on March 22 after the court found him guilty of embezzlement and contempt charges that he and his supporters have repeatedly rejected as politically motivated.

Navalny was arrested in January last year upon his arrival to Moscow from Germany, where he was treated for a poison attack with what European labs defined as a Soviet-style nerve agent.

He was then handed a 2 1/2-year prison sentence for violating the terms of an earlier parole because of his convalescence abroad. The original conviction is widely regarded as a trumped-up, politically motivated case.

Navalny has blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for his poisoning with a Novichok-style chemical substance. The Kremlin has denied any role in the attack.

International organizations consider Navalny a political prisoner.

The European Union, U.S. President Joe Biden, and other international officials have demanded Russia release the 45-year-old Kremlin-critic.

Navalny is currently serving his term in a prison in the town of Pokrov, some 200 kilometers east of Moscow. He is expected to be transferred to a stricter regime prison for the new conviction.

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