MOSCOW, October 17 (RAPSI, Kirill Ryabchikov) – The Moscow City Court on Thursday upheld a 3.5-year prison sentence passed upon Yevgeny Kovalenko, who had thrown a garbage can refuse bin at a National Guard officer at an unauthorized rally in Moscow, RAPSI reported from the courtroom.

Thus, the sentence came into force today.

In early September, Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court sentenced Kovalenko to 3.5 years behind bars. The man was found guilty of use of violence against a representative of authority. According to case papers, he threw a refuse bin at a National Guard officer and kicked a police lieutenant.

Prosecutors asked a 5-year imprisonment for the defendant.

Protest actions began in Moscow in mid-July after election commissions denied registration of certain opposition members as candidates for the Moscow City Duma elections reasoning that documents submitted by them contained numerous violations.

The first unauthorized rally took place hear the Moscow City Election Commission’s building on July 14 and looked like a provocation, according to law experts.

Unauthorized rallies in support of candidates seeking to become lawmakers of the Moscow State Duma but refused registration by the Election Commission were also held on July 27 and August 3 in central Moscow. Over 1,000 people were arrested for various violations as a result.

Following the 27 July rally, the Investigative Committee opened a criminal case over mass riots. Investigators believe that the protest action was held with the use of force against representatives of authority.

Several well-known opposition figures including Alexey Navalny, Dmitry Gudkov, Ilya Yashin were arrested and put in detention for alleged organization of an unauthorized rally.

On August 10, an authorized rally in support of unregistered election candidates took place in Moscow and gathered as many as 25,000 participants, according to the police statistics.