Updated at 15:54
MOSCOW, February 8 (RIA Novosti) - The Moscow City Court found former military intelligence officer Vladimir Kvachkov guilty of masterminding an armed coup and sentenced him to 13 years in prison, the judge said at the end of the trial on Friday.
Prosecutors had demanded 14 years in a high security prison for Kvachkov, a retired colonel from the Chief Intelligence Directorate (GRU), the Russian Armed Forces' spy service. Kvachkov denies any wrongdoing, and his defense claimed the charges against him were groundless.
Prosecutors alleged Kvachkov, as leader of a public militia group, the People's Liberation Front of Russia, plotted to seize weapons from several military units and organize an armed march on Moscow for the forceful overthrow of power.
Kvachkov was previously twice acquitted after being accused of an assassination attempt in 2005 on former Unified Energy Systems head Anatoly Chubais, one of the key architects of market reform in Russia in the early 1990's and a hate figure among many on the left in Russia.
Kvachkov was acquitted by the Supreme Court of the attack on Chubais on December 22, 2010, but the next day the Lefortovo District Court sanctioned his arrest as part of the investigation into the alleged coup attempt, RAPSI reported.
A career military officer, Kvachkov commanded a Special Forces unit in Afghanistan in 1983, RAPSI reported. In 1984, after sustaining a head injury, he was awarded the highly prestigious Order of the Red Star and later received the Order of Courage.
(Updated with sentence)
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We have witnessed the total defeat of western Ukraine, Western nationalists and the West in general, which made the unfortunate decision to support the anti-government activity. They failed to realize that the collapse of Yanukovych means the collapse of Ukrainian unity. They set fire to their own home and planted a time bomb under Ukraine’s territorial integrity.