Alexei Navalny Quotes 'The Wire' After Given 9-Year Prison Sentence

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison Tuesday after being convicted of fraud in a trial he denounced as politically motivated.

He responded to the sentence on Twitter with a quote from the television show The Wire.

"9 years. Well, as the characters of my favorite TV series 'The Wire' used to say: 'You only do two days. That's the day you go in and the day you come out'
I even had a T-shirt with this slogan, but the prison authorities confiscated it, considering the print extremist," the tweet read.

Navalny, who was also convicted of contempt of court for allegedly insulting a judge in an earlier trial, is already serving 2 1/2 years for parole violations in a penal colony east of Moscow, according to the Associated Press. He can appeal the ruling, but Russian President Vladimir Putin will see his top critic and foe behind bars for a long time if the decision is upheld.

Navalny was also ordered by a judge to pay a roughly $11,500 fine, the equivalent of about 1.2 million rubles, AP reported.

The fraud conviction stemmed from allegations that Navalny embezzled funds from his foundation, AP reported. The trial took place over the course of about a month in a makeshift courtroom in the penal colony, where authorities moved the trial from a Moscow courthouse.

The move was decried by Navalny's supporters, who said that his proponents and the media have had limited access to the proceedings.

The sentence was less than the 13 years the prosecution had requested during closing arguments last week.

Navalny Conviction
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sentenced to nine years in prison Tuesday after being convicted of fraud in a trial he denounced as politically motivated. Above, Navalny speaks during his trial at Penal Colony Number 2 on February 21, 2022, in Pokrov, Vladimir region, Russia. Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

In another tweet Tuesday, Navalny said that he was "grateful" for the support he's received, and said that the best backing that he and other "political prisoners" could receive is action.

"Any activity against the deceitful and thievish Putin's regime. Any opposition to these war criminals," the tweet read.

Navalny was arrested in January of 2021 and later imprisoned for the parole violations, which stemmed from an earlier fraud case. When he was arrested, he had just returned to Russia from Germany, where he said he was recovering from a poisoning, AP reported.

Navalny accused the Kremlin of being behind the poisoning, but Russia has denied the allegations.

The arrest preceded a larger crackdown on Navalny and his allies, some of whom left Russia to avoid criminal charges. He and some associates were added this year to Russia's registry for terrorists and extremists.

Newsweek has reached out to Putin's office for comment but did not hear back by publication time.

Update 3/22/22, 10:13 a.m. ET: This story was updated with additional information and background.