Provocateur Alexey Navalny swears from jail cell Russians won’t let Putin “steal our country”
Moscow – A Russian court on Thursday upheld the 30-day arrest order for opposition leader Alexey Navalny. The court rejected a call for Navalny’s immediate release, ensuring that President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critic will remain behind bars as his allies – those who have not been arrested themselves – plan a new round of mass protests across the country for this weekend.
Thursday’s hearing followed a wave of police raids on dozens of locations across Moscow in which many allies of Navalny and his brother were arrested.
Navalny, 44 years old,earlier this month at a Moscow airport immediately upon his return from Germany, where he spent the previous five months recovering from poisoning with the deadly Soviet-era nerve agent. . He the attack took place in Russia on the orders of Putin, an allegation the Kremlin denied.
The opposition politician was remanded in custody for violating the terms of a previous suspended sentence, resulting from an earlier conviction which Navalny dismissed as politically motivated.
Speaking to the Moscow region court on Thursday via a video link from prison, Navalny condemned the criminal proceedings against him as an attempt by authorities to intimidate him.
“A lot of people, tens of millions of people agree with me,” he told the court. “We will never allow these people to take over and steal our country.”
He also expressed his support for his fellow activists who havesince its participation in massifs, during his detention last weekend. The court quickly dismissed his appeal against the arrest.
Protests in more than 100 Russian cities last Saturday were not approved by Russian authorities, and police responded by arresting around 3,500 people.
Navalny’s own arrest after the poisoning ordeal, which left him hospitalized in serious condition for weeks, drew condemnation from senior US and EU officials. Secretary of State Antonythat the United States was “deeply concerned” for the safety of Navalny.
“The most important point is that her voice is the voice of many, many, many Russians, and she should be heard, not muzzled,” Blinken said in his first official briefing on Wednesday, adding that the new Biden administration had not ruled out. any action in response.
Navalny’s brother Oleg, along with his leading allies Lyubov Sobol and Anastasia Vasilyeva, and Maria Alyokhina, one of the members of the activist collective Pussy Riot, were among those arrested Wednesday evening in connection with related criminal investigations. at the events of last weekend.