Blogger
© REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
A university student and YouTube blogger will spend three years on probation after a Moscow court sentenced him for inciting "extremism" during the unauthorized opposition protests that rocked the Russian capital this summer.

Egor Zhukov has been found guilty of "publicly calling for extremism on the internet," the judge stated, as quoted Russian news agencies. He will also be barred from using "communication networks" for two years, the verdict says.

Ahead of the Friday hearing, prosecutors asked the court to sentence Zhukov, a popular YouTuber and political science student, to four years in prison.

He was released on the spot and was met by a cheering crowd of supporters waiting for the verdict outside the courthouse.

Blogger Egor Zhukov
© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich
Egor Zhukov walks free from a Moscow courthouse
Flanked by numerous people, the student thanked "everyone who fought for my release," while urging everyone to campaign for those detained in connection with anti-government rallies that took place in July and August in Moscow.

Zhukov was initially charged with taking active part in the unrest earlier in August, but as public figures and fellow students campaigned in his defense, he was placed under house arrest instead of pre-trial custody.

The case was dropped, but a new investigation into incitement of extremism was opened instead.

Also on Friday, the court processed two other cases related to the protests. One protester, Pavel Novikov, was given a hefty fine for assaulting a police officer during the rallies. Another, Nikita Chirtsov, was given a much harsher punishment - he will have to serve a one-year prison term for a similar offense.

This summer, independent and opposition candidates were barred from the Moscow City Council election over irregularities found in their voter lists - something the candidates vehemently denied. Thousands attended unauthorized protests against the exclusion, with some rallies resulting in clashes with police.

On July 27, when one of the most contentious rallies took place, over 1,000 people were detained in the aftermath, according to numbers provided by Moscow authorities.