STORY: Jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Tuesday (May 24) lambasted President Vladimir Putin, casting the Kremlin chief as a doomed madman who started a "stupid war" that was butchering the innocent people of both Ukraine and Russia.
Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition figure, was appealing against a nine-year jail sentence he was handed in March for fraud and contempt of court, on top of 2-1/2 years he is already serving.
His appeal was rejected by a court in Moscow.
He used his address in court to deliver a stinging attack on Putin and the war, a rare public act of dissent in a country where it is a criminal offense to criticize the army and its actions in Ukraine.
Berating Putin's Russia as a state run by thieves and criminals, Navalny said the current leaders of Russia would ultimately be crushed by the forces of history and burn in hell for creating a bloodbath in Ukraine.
He said, quote, "one madman has got his claws into Ukraine and I do not know what he wants to do with it," adding that "this war was built on lies."
The judge repeatedly interrupted Navalny.
Putin states the "special military operation" in Ukraine is necessary to demilitarize and "denazify" the country.
Navalny denies all the charges against him and says they were fabricated to thwart his political ambitions.
Here's his lawyer, Olga Mikhailova:
"The ministerial committee demanded Navalny be released. But the legal norms do not function - nothing happens. He still has not been released."
She added that Navalny will be transferred to a strict regime colony.