News Flash

Why people are protesting on the roads of Putin’s Moscow and Who is Navalny?

TBL web desk

Russia nowadays witnessing public outrage against Putin administration in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Reuters reported that at least 40,000 people participated in a rally of central Moscow, while Russian Interior Ministry put that numbers at 4,000.

The EU, United States and leaders from other Western countries have urged Russia to release Navalny. They’ve also heavily criticized the crackdown on pro-Navalny protesters at nationwide rallies over the past two weeks.

Who is Navalny?

44-year-old Navalny is a lawyer by profession and a strong critic of President Vladimir Putin. He has millions of followers on social media from across the Russia. He becomes famous when his blogs began exposing the corruption in the Russian government in the late 2000s.

He got arrested multiple times for his campaign against Putin. His first arrest was made in 2011 on the accusation of his role at a rally outside the State Duma in Moscow.

In 2016, Navalny announced his formal campaign for the seat of Russian presidency in March 2018. However, he was barred from running for the post after multiple allegations of the corruption were levelled against him.

Death attempts

His campaigning had made him a victim of alleged poisoning by Russian intelligence agencies. In 2018, Navalny was attacked with a bright green liquid in the Siberian city of Barnaul by an assailant who pretended to shake his hand. In 2019 he suffered an allergic reaction in jail, allegedly from an unknown chemical substance.

On 20 August, Navalny’s spokesperson announced that after drinking tea while in an airport, the activist became violently ill during a flight. The plane made an emergency landing and he was rushed to a hospital in Germany.

Navalny was taken out of the coma, less than three weeks later. The German government said labs in France and Sweden both confirmed that Navalny had been poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.

It was after this hospital recovery he returned to Russia, which led to his arrest. On Tuesday, Navalny was sentenced to 3 years and six months for violating probation terms relating to a 2014 embezzlement case.

Why is Navalny back in court?

Navalny faces charges of slandering a World War II veteran and several other people who took part in a pro-Kremlin video last year.

The video promoted constitutional amendments that passed last year, which allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to potentially remain in office until 2036.

Navalny described the people in the video as “traitors” without a conscience and “the shame of the country.”

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